Opera adds anti-malware to nearly final browser

Opera 9.5 beta available for download, includes drive-by download defense

Opera Software will include anti-malware and drive-by download defenses in version 9.5 of its flagship browser, which is now in beta but close to a final release, the company said Monday.

Part of Opera's "Fraud Protection," which until now has included only anti-phishing tools, the new feature puts up messages that warn users when they're about to visit a site that's a known malware host or has been hacked to serve up Trojan horses, worms and other malicious code. The list of blackballed sites is provided by HauteSecure, said Thomas Ford, an Opera spokesman.

"It's significantly different than Firefox's [anti-malware protection] in a couple of key areas," Ford said. The Haute Secure-delivered list, he said, drills down to the page level and also integrates user-provided information on hacked sites. "Haute Secure also uses a community as a human verification layer," Ford said. "It's a false-positive remediation."

HauteSecure already provides a free toolbar for users of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox browsers.

The browser queries the Norwegian company's servers each time a page is requested, Ford said, and retrieves a HauteSecure-created blacklist for any compromised pages in that domain. "The data rarely exceeds 1K," said Ford, "so it's not a performance problem, even for low-bandwidth users, like those on dial-up or mobile users."

By comparison, Firefox's anti-malware tool downloads an updated blacklist generated by Google -- and provided via Stopbadware.org, a group that Google co-founded -- daily, then stores that list locally.

"We don't store the blacklist in the browser itself," Ford said. Instead, Opera's Fraud Protection architecture lets the company pull in security information from any external provider. "We can take any data source," Ford added.

All desktop versions of Opera 9.5 -- for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux -- include the anti-malware protection, but Ford wouldn't confirm that the tool would be rolled into Opera's mobile browser, prominent on smart phones such as those made by Nokia Corp. "All I can say is that [the feature] is in the core of the browser."

The newest beta, which can be downloaded from the Opera site, includes the new anti-malware feature. Opera has not committed to a release date for version 9.5, although Ford said it was "imminent."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?