Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mozilla offers "Web of Trust" add-on; NYTimes report warns of increase in infected websites

Yahoo! reproduced a May 19 New York Times article “Five ways to keep online criminals at bay” here.


The article relates a recent Google scan that found over 300,000 sites on the Web that had been infected by hackers, often with multiple files on the site, for infecting computers with malware to make them zombies or botnets, or, more often, to offer fake anti-virus software. (I encountered one such site last fall, which was caught immediately by Spysweeper; a scan however found four interrelated anti-virus software kernels and quarantined them all.). 

The number of infected sites has tripled since 2007. It’s important that web hosting companies have good anti-virus and firewall protection. (I’ve had only one such incident that I know of; two files on one site were overlaid with jibberish in April 2002; the point of overlay was a discussion of small nuclear weapons.)  Up until about 2000 or so, it was generally safe to surf sites (outside of porn, that is, that got dangerous pretty early).

The article also mentions the Web of Trust (MyWOT) add on for Firefox, which I just installed and tried. After installation, it shows a colored ring (green for OK) in the toolbar to the left of the domain name. Here is the link for the Mozillar ad-on. 

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