McAfee, Yahoo team on Web security

SiteAdvisor integrated into Yahoo's search engine mechanism

McAfee and Yahoo this week announced a partnership on Web security in which Yahoo's search engine is making freely available to users the warnings about unwanted or malicious code on Web sites as determined through McAfee's security technology.

That technology, which McAfee calls SiteAdvisor, has been integrated into Yahoo's search engine mechanism so that if after performing a search, a user wants to check for sites that have been flagged as suspicious or dangerous, the user could obtain that advice after clicking on a "SearchScan."

"This is based on what SiteAdvisor identifies," explains McAfee Vice President Tim Dowling, adding that no Yahoo advertisers will be picked up and flagged in the SiteAdvisor scan, however.

The Yahoo security-warning mechanism, as demonstrated by Dowling in a search for "screensavers" which showed some Web pages flagged in red with a warning about unwanted or malicious code, doesn't block the user from accessing the page but recommends avoiding the flagged content.

Yahoo issued a statement saying, "By preventing users from visiting malicious Web sites, Yahoo is doing its part in reducing the channels available for spam, adware, phishing and malware to spread."

In other news, McAfee Wednesday announced it is re-branding the Web site security evaluation test service it acquired with ScanAlert last year. The new brand is known as "McAfee Secure for Websites," a trust mark which Web sites can display after submitting to daily security scanning to make sure the site isn't vulnerable to SQL injection, cross-site scripting, known holes, or contain malicious code that could harm Web visitors.

Dowling said about 100,000 Web sites used the older ScanAlert services, and McAfee expects the majority of them to migrate to the "McAfee Secure" brand, which will now also include a site that has passed the daily scans in its SiteAdvisor rating system. Pricing starts at US$1,500.

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Ellen Messmer

Network World
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