Security vendor Finjan now offers a secure browsing extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer, named SecureBrowsing. The tool is similar to the free tool Linkscanner offered by Exploit Prevention Labs, with ties to antivirus protection. Like Linkscanner, the Finjan product overlays your search engine results page with various real-time safety ratings. Unlike McAfee SiteAdvisor Plus, which identifies phishing sites but not always malware sites, Finjan SecureBrowsing failed to catch any of the suspected phishing sites we tested.
Download is quick. SecureBrowsing is an add-on for Internet Explorer and an extension for Firefox. It does require that you restart your browser after installation. Once restarted, the Finjan logo appears in the lower right-hand corner of your browser. Unlike SiteAdvisor, the Finjan icon does not change color to show the safety of a given site, nor are there many configuration choices.
Finjan SecureBrowsing identifies and ranks Web sites returned by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live; advertising systems such as Google AdSense; Webmail systems Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo; and popular destination sites like MySpace, Digg, Slashdot, and Blogger. Other domains are not scanned by SecureBrowsing at this time.
Because the Finjan safety scans are live--not drawn from some cataloged data one hour or even several days old--you can search Google for something odd, say, antique bottle collection sites, and know that Finjan's reports will be accurate. That's good, given that Web sites can be compromised with malicious content one day and clean the next.
To scan the Web sites, SecureBrowsing uses Finjan's patented behavior-based heuristic technology along with antivirus technology from Sophos and Kaspersky. By right-clicking on a rating, you can see why a site has been flagged either by category or by technical information. Most of the sites we found contained spyware, with an occasional virus or worm.