Google Is a Phishy Site

There I was trying to troubleshoot a client’s unexplained yet frequent mail server crashes. And naturally used Google as my tech search tool. Since this site is the Opera browser’s search engine of choice. It’s also dead easy to run searches from the address bar (type g [search keywords]).

Imagine my surprise when a Google-cached site prompted a fraud alert! OK, so Opera was probably indicating a false positives. Except efforts to directly access the source URL too generated fraud alerts! And I was only able to access the page after closing the tab (copying the URL first) and purging my disk cache and cookies saved to the computer. Actually this feature is so painful that I disabled it altogether.

And the latest refresh doesn’t seem to have resolved the problem either. If that’s not enough, although the release notes state that the Phishing detector is disabled by default. It was not so when I installed Opera 9.01 RC1!

Actually none of the browser-based Phishing functions are very effective. Enabling this feature in IE considerably slows down browsing. As the browser needs to check each URL against a Microsoft database before permitting access. If you have a better than 512 kbps connection you won’t notice the difference. But on slower connects nothing appears to be happening. Firefox is marginally better in that it checks the URL against a local list. But the effectiveness ain’t so hot.

Overall my most effective anti-Phishing tool seems to be PC-Cillin 2007. Who’s ability to detect spyware, Trojans, possibly malicious web sites and Phishing attempts is the best I’ve seen. PC-Cillin 2007 also checks inbound and outbound mail for viruses and spam. As well as installed Chat software for infected files transferred between users. Overall PC-Cillin 2007 is damn good at protecting users (beginners through to advanced levels) from virus (naturally), And the new 3-computers-per-license is a great idea.

Not much else hot, new software from me this week. I have been without a home computer for nigh on 3 weeks now. My super PC suffered a motherboard meltdown. It seemed just a simple power supply problem. But when neither multiple replacement SMPS didn’t resolve the problem. Followed by connected peripherals suddenly going dead. Indicated a hardware error. So it went to the shop for replacement. And I feel back on a notorious office computer labeled Problem Child: a Pentium 4 HT with 1 GB RAM that crawls to a near stop after about 2 hours of use.

And for the benefit of wiseacres reading this account, yes, we have replaced everything in that computer at least once. It’s as if the very machine (a ghost perhaps) is cursed because suspect components from it work absolutely fine on other computers!

That’s it for this week. Apologies for zero download links, software review or screen shots. More perhaps next time. Until then be good and if you can’t be careful.

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