Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have a new way to help keep internet users safe from people who want to steal your private information. The new application known as “Perspectives” helps users of the web browser Firefox know when a web site should be trusted. Increasingly hackers are tricking internet users into thinking they are at a secure website in an effort to get credit card and account numbers and passwords. Researcher David Anderson says right now warnings given by web browsers are often ignored. Perspectives takes those warnings, compares them to the security certificates seen by other users of the same website and then either lets you through with a mild warning or gives you a much more stern warning to stay off the site. Anderson says with more people taping into free wi-fi services at hotels and coffee houses the potential for hackers is growing. Anderson hopes the Firefox version will be popular enough to encourage Microsoft to work with CMU in developing the application for the much more used internet explorer.