Wednesday, March 23, 2011

BitDefender TrafficLight: Cross-browser Anti-Malware Tool

Romanian security software company BitDefender has introduced a new malware fighting tool named TrafficLight that intends to block web threats and malicious websites before it reaches the browser. Unlike many anti-phishing tools by third-parties that are available only for selected browsers, TrafficLight works across all major browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.


TrafficLight runs as Windows service in the background and doesn’t show up as a toolbar in the browser. The only indication that it is running is an inconspicuous little tag dropping down from the browser toolbar at the top of the page. For the most part, TrafficLight stays away from your browsing session and only springs into action when malicious activity is detected. The TrafficLight panel drops open and displays a red or amber light to indicate the safety of the current page. A green light indicates the page is safe to browse.

When conducting searches on Google and Bing, small icons appear before the results to show which links are safe or dangerous. There is even a URL shortening service that uses to check your target links for viruses and phishing scams.


However, TrafficLight couldn't verify the legitimacy of a large number of websites including popular ones like Wikipedia and BBC, let alone small sites, which makes it pretty useless. This happens only on search results though. Once you land on a website, it does function as intended, at least partially.

For example, despite the cross-browser claim, TrafficLight fails to work properly with Opera. TrafficLight also includes an ad-blocking module that is not functioning at the moment.

But the program is in beta, and one would expect things to be broken in the first release. Interested users can install TrafficLight if they need a layer of security, or just rely on their common sense when browsing the web.


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