Security conscious Internet users are aware, that so called “trusted” websites, are not always to be trusted. We’ve covered this issue here on Tech Thoughts a number of times, most recently in, “How Safe Are Trusted Web Sites? Not Very!”
The following is a brief explanation, from that article, on how cyber crooks manage to infect web sites:
“Cyber-crooks can exploit vulnerabilities on the server hosting the web page to insert an iFrame, (an HTML element which makes it possible to embed another HTML document inside the main document). The iFrame can then activate the download of malicious code by exploiting additional vulnerabilities on the visiting machine”.
Unfortunately, installed anti-malware solutions may not always provide adequate protection against this type of attack. Luckily, there is a solution which can add an additional layer of security by substituting your ISP provided DNS service, with a more secure alternative. An alternative that can prevent you from visiting sites that harbor malware exploits.
Free alternatives include OpenDNS, Google DNS, Norton DNS – and now, an additional free service can be added to this list with the release of ClearCloud Beta from Sunbelt Software, the developer’s of the highly regarded VIPRE antivirus application.
According to ClearCloud, the application “checks every website address your computer is trying to access, whether you’re browsing the internet, clicking a link in an email, or a program “under the hood” trying to communicate with servers for information or updates”.
In a quick 24 hour test, I found ClearCloud worked as advertised. With ClearCloud up and running, you will be prevented from visiting sites identified as harboring exploits. In which case, you will get detailed information on why ClearCloud believes the site is unsafe.
Taking advantage of this service couldn’t be easier. Simply download the setup application, execute, and as the simply interface shown below indicates, you’re now protected by ClearCloud.
Following installation, visit the ClearCloud block page to verify the service is up and running.
System requirements: Windows, Mac.
Download at: ClearCloud
Alternatively, you can manually set your DNS server address to 126.96.36.199.
Note: You can configure ClearCloud on your router. Click here for a setup walkthrough.
A big ”Thank You” to regular reader TeX for bringing this service to my attention.
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