Yahoo! searchers to get McAfee site advice

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 9, 2008

SiteAdvisor data to help check security of search results.

Search engine giant Yahoo! has announced a deal with McAfee to incorporate site security ratings from the firm's SiteAdvisor system into search results.

The deal will see Yahoo! searches accompanied by warnings if links are turned up to sites that are known to be suspect.

Like the data from used by arch-rival Google to police its search results, the system operates on a blacklist basis, providing data on previously checked sites rather than actively scanning them in real time, and has occasionally suffered issues with false positives and lag times in correcting details of cleaned-up pages. Also like the initiative, SiteAdvisor has its origins in academic research, but after acquisition by security giant McAfee has become a hugely popular free plugin for the Internet Explorer and FireFox browsers, regularly topping download charts on free software sites and scoring high ratings from users.

The new partnership has sparked rumours of a possible change in the long-standing deal which sees Yahoo!'s mail scanned for malware by Symantec technology. Meanwhile, another website security system from McAfee, the HackerSafe certification scheme, has been criticized for failing to take account of possible cross-site scripting issues, as detailed in a report from Heise Security here.

A release on the Yahoo!/McAfee deal is at Yahoo! here or at McAfee here, with a Yahoo! blog entry here and comment on the Sunbelt blog here.

Posted on 09 May 2008 by Virus Bulletin



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