Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Thunderbird gets scam detection

Via Henrik is a new ‘scam detection’ method in Thunderbird. If you click on a link that follows the pattern of some phishing scams, Thunderbird will pop up a dialog asking you if this was really what you wanted to do – screenshots are here.
At the moment, it will alert the user if:

  • The address includes a dotted-decimal IP address instead of a domain name, such as
  • The domain in the link text is different to the domain that the link actually points to, such as <a href=""></a>

This doesn't cover all phishing scams but it's a good start. While I do welcome it, unless Thunderbird dramatically increases its market share it's not going to stop phishing, nor is it going to stop people from being conned. Still, hopefully it will set an example for other email client developers.
In any case, if this and the spellchecking feature are anything to go by, Thunderbird 1.1 is going to rock.


  1. Too bad Mozilla doesn’t have the marketing campaign for Thunderbird like they did for Firefox.

  2. If Mozilla used a marketing campaign like Firefox’s for Thunderbird, I don’t think most people would trust Mozilla anymore. Thunderbird totally sucks, is full of bugs, and has lots and lots of UI problems. Thunderbird is not ready for public use.

  3. > Thunderbird totally sucks
    I think a lot of people would disagree with you in that regard. Myself included. As for it not being ready for public use, my parents both use it with no problems. To them it just seems like Outlook Express, except with spam filtering.

  4. It’s definitely missing some basic features. For example, auto-save of messages during composition. That wouldn’t be so bad if the program weren’t relatively prone to crashes.
    It also doesn’t handle disconnected operation well for IMAP accounts. So it may be ready for public use, but it’s still a bit raw.

  5. I have had no problems using it at all. I don’t think auto-save is something that makes it ready for prime time. It is almost like Outlook Express only easier. Sure there may be some bugs, but take a look at the security holes in Outlook Express.

  6. It’s slow, it’s buggy, weird UI behaviour at times.. This is not a 1.0, more like 0.4 beta..
    Firefox is to Thunderbird what a fighter jet is to the Goodyear blimp.

  7. Keith Lea must be an MS employee.
    What interface problems??
    I’ve used Thunderbird for the past six months and never had a problem.
    It’s clean, easy to use and has everything I need.