Opera 9.5 Offers Anti-Malware Protection
Opera Software today shipped a new version of its Web browser that the company says will help protect users from Web sites that try to install malicious software. The new version, Opera 9.5, is available here.
Opera spokesman Thomas Ford said the new software's malware-blocking capability comes from Seattle-based Haute Secure, a security company started by four former Microsoft employees. If an Opera user tries to visit a site included on Haute's blacklist, Opera will display a fraud warning saying the page has been reported for distributing malicious software (see the screen shot to the right).
Ford noted that unlike Firefox, which each day downloads a list of dangerous sites provided by Google through a partnership with Stopbadware.org, Opera 9.5 consults Haute's database with each page loaded. Ford said the browser can handle the added communications without slowing down the browser -- even for dialup users -- because the packet sent to Haute's servers is tiny (less than 1 kb).
Haute marketing chief Steve Anderson said the company's database also is informed by feeds from Google, in addition to intelligence from Spamhaus and Phishtank.com. But he said the bulk of the blocked domains on its blacklist comes from its own indexing of malicious links and pages around the Web.
The new version of Opera feels quick, slick and fairly intuitive. But so far I've been underwhelmed by the malware-blocking feature. For my anti-malware test drive, I put the browser through the first page of links listed at malwaredomainlist.com (do NOT visit any of these links, as they are all dangerous and hostile). The browser blocked just two of the nearly three dozen active, malicious links on the first page.
I realize this is a very unscientific test, but some of these links are days old. Haute's Anderson said they were open to including additional sources of malware location data, and I would hope that Haute will consider expanding its blocklist to those featured at malwaredomainlist.com.
If you're a current Opera user and are hesitant to upgrade, here are a couple more reasons to go ahead: This release also plugs at least three security holes and some 2,350 bugs found in previous versions of the browser.
Posted by: antibozo | June 12, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Singing Senator | June 12, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bk | June 12, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: antibozo | June 13, 2008 4:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: umm.huh | June 13, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: antibozo | June 13, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: antibozo | June 14, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Rick | June 14, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Scott Knowles | June 15, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: brucerealtor | June 16, 2008 3:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Christer Mjellem Strand, Opera Software | June 23, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: antibozo | June 24, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.