The study looked at ten browser toolbars: Microsoft Explorer 7, eBay, Google, Netcraft (Mozilla), Netscape, Cloudmark (Mozilla), Earthlink, Geotrust’s TrustWatch, and Stanford University’s Spoofguard, and McAfee’s SiteAdvisor.

Even the best of the bunch — Earthlink, Netcraft, Google, Coudmark, and Explorer 7 — detected only 85% of fraudulent websites, a good but far from secure level of effectiveness. The rest scored under the 50% mark, with McAfee’s SiteAdvisor unable to spot any.