Over the years, a lot of firms and security savvies have tried to stop phishing, but it just won’t go away. In a poll conducted by Proofpoint – a security firm, – about 70% of the firms that partook in the poll experienced phishing attacks last year. Sometimes, even top security-savvy users are fooled by attackers.
MetaCert Wants to Solve Phishing Problems with Blockchain
A firm known as MetaCert is trying to put an end to phishing emails with an extraordinary approach. The firm has spent the last 7 years creating a database of web addresses used by phishers. The firm also has a database of “safe” addresses that the firm’s hackers use to spoof: online retailers, banks, and payment services such as PayPal.
How the Software of MetaCert Works
MetaCert want to use blockchain to solve this issue. The firm has a software that functions with the database they created over the years. The software of the firm crosschecks the links in your email with their databases. The software places a little red shield close to known phishing links, a little green shield close to known good sites, and a gray shield close to unknown websites.
Of course, there are lots of tools out there used for blocking phishing scams. These tools usually block phishing scams before they reach your inbox via a combination of algorithms and user reports. However, some phishers will inexorably bypass those protections.
MetaCert is not here to replace but to enhance tools built for blocking phishing attacks. The software acts as a last line of defense. That is why the gray shields are very important to the system. This would help users to spot the difference between a legit and a fake link.
The founder and CEO of MetaCert – Paul Walsh – said: “We are not asking you to uninstall your other email security software. We are only telling you to stop and think when you see the gray shield.”
MetaCert Is Available for iOS Email App
MetaCert is now available for the native email application of iOS. The app will work with major email service providers such as Microsoft and Gmail. The firm will make the version for the desktop Apple Mail app available soon.
The software can be downloaded and used for free at the moment. However, the CEO said the software will be monetized in the near future. The firm plans to release versions of the software for other email apps such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.
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Nevertheless, there are downsides to the phishing protection approach of the firm. Like other third-party email applications, MetaCert functions as a proxy. This means all your emails will have to pass through its servers for it to check for suspicious links.
For Outlook.com and Gmail, the software does not need to store the login details of users. So you can tell Microsoft or Google that it’s safe for your email to be accessed by MetaCert. However, MetaCert will need to store the password of a user locally on their device when they are using email services that are not supported by MetaCert. This is required for the software to function well. The firm also offers a Google Chrome extension that alerts users of websites that contain phishing links.