The Opera browser, currently the third most popular web browser is beefing up its security with new anti-phishing additions to its software. The Opera 8 browser will present users with detailed security information on whichever site is being viewed.

Specifically targeted are sites without security certificates and those that attempt to spoof secure websites. By clicking on a yellow security bar that appears at the top of the browser users can see the name of the organisation that owns the relevant certificate for the website and see whether the site is valid.

"One of the most important measures to counter phishing attacks is the use of security certificates," says Christen Krogh, VP of engineering at Opera. "The challenge for browser vendors is to better explain the verification of certificates and to make the user more aware of this additional verification before entering into secure transactions."

In an attempt to combat concerns over Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) the browser will only display localized domain names from top level domains that pass pre-set Opera domain conditions.

The changes appear in Opera's second beta version of its next browser, that was made available late last month.

The news comes days after SC reported Mozilla had updated its own Firefox browser, currently the second most popular internet browser, in order to plug phishing holes. Until the update Firefox had been susceptible to spoofed websites.