The deployment of a global caching system brings faster and more consistent response times to people using the toolbar throughout the world. Additionally it helps the toolbar system scale smoothly, as the numbers of people using the toolbar have grown quickly since the release of the Firefox version of the toolbar in May.
Mirror Image’s system provides a substantial performance improvement as shown by the response time for the toolbar with Mirror Image (blue), compared to before (green):
Mirror Image's global content caching and distribution network has provided perceptible improvements in response times for the toolbar throughout the world. The toolbar's response time, as measured by our monitors in seven data centers, had been averaging 0.29 seconds. The shift to Mirror Image has accelerated performance, reducing the toolbar's average response time to 0.12 seconds, with reductions of between 47 and 74 percent from various points around the globe.
The toolbar community is effectively a giant neighborhood watch scheme, in which the most alert and expert members act to defend the larger community of users against phishing frauds. Once the first recipients of a phishing mail have reported the target URL, it is blocked for toolbar users who subsequently access the URL. Widely disseminated attacks (people constructing phishing attacks send literally millions of electronic mails in the expectation that some will reach customers of the bank) simply mean that the phishing attack will be reported and blocked sooner.
The Phishing Site Feed is also available to ISPs and Enterprises who wish to protect their customers or employees against phishing.