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Free web browser and plug-in security service launched

19 July 2010

Cloud security specialist Qualys has launched an interactive and online web browser checking service. Known as BrowserCheck, the service has been in development for almost 18 months and under active beta test internally for some three months, Wolfgang Kandek, Qualys' chief technology officer told Infosecurity.

"We've had the service on beta test with clients for a few weeks now and the response has been positive", he said, adding that the facility – which is aimed at all types of web browser users – is designed to be as easy to use as possible.

In parallel with the launch of BrowserCheck, Qualys has launched a user community for self-help and questions to be posted with Qualys technical staff, so allowing what Kandek calls the best possible levels of support for users. "We also have the former online community manager for VMware working with us on this project. He has brought his considerable knowledge to help us get this online community for BrowserCheck under way", he said.

Available at http://browsercheck.qualys.com, Qualys says the service interactively scans web browsers looking for security flaws within the browser and its plug-ins.

According to Kandek, security flaws in modern web browsers and their plug-ins are the preferred target of a majority of malware attacks.

But, he explained, many users are not aware of the risks to which their browsers expose them every time they shop online, play browser-based games and get news updates from the internet.

One of the most interesting features of BrowserCheck is that it scans the browser software and its plug-ins to alert the user to any security issues, as well as out-of-date versions that put users at risk.

As of commercial launch time today, BrowserCheck is said to detect browser versions IE 6.0+, Firefox 3.0+ and Chrome 4.0+, as well as a variety of plug-ins, including Adobe Flash, Reader 5.x+ and Shockwave, plus Apple Quicktime and Real Player to mention but a few.

Phillipe Courtot, Qualys' chairman, said that almost 100% of all browsers we have surveyed have plug-ins installed that enable the user to play music, watch video, visualize PDF files and play games. "Frequently these plug-ins are overlooked by the users and are not updated, representing a significant security exposure – both for end-users and corporate clients", he said.

"BrowserCheck is an easy and straightforward way to take care of the flaws and to assure the user of a smooth and secure browsing experience", he added.

This article is featured in:
Cloud Computing  •  Internet and Network Security  •  Malware and Hardware Security

 

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