Stop The Bad Guys: Haute Secure 2.0 Released

Haute Secure, a service that detects and blocks malware for web surfers, released version 2.0 this morning. We first covered the company at launch last summer and compared it to Site Advisor, a similar company that was acquired by McAfee in 2006 for a rumored $80 million.

Even last summer, though, Haute Secure went way beyond what Site Advisor offers. Site Advisor is a browser plugin that warns users when they hit a site that might contain phishing scams or malware. But there are differences. Haute Secure looks at each page on a site individually and blocks those pages which are bad. Site Advisor also doesn’t try to block malware, just warn the user of it. Haute Secure blocks it.

Haute Secure is also a P2P solution, and the detection software is included in the plugin (Site Advisor does not use its plugin to detect malware). As soon as you locate new malware code, the plugin notifies the Haute Secure servers, which then send the information out to all other plugin users. This effectively increases the amount of web space the service can analyze quickly, adding more protection to users.

Haute Secure also analyzes advertisements, a common vehicle for delivering adware. This triggers warnings on a number of sites that include ads from networks known to carry malware.

Haute Secure 2.0

The new version of Haute Secure is available for Firefox as well as Internet Explorer, and continues to block URLs that are on a number of open industry blacklists (PhishTank, Google’s Anti-Malware list, Spamhaus DROP list). But now registered users can also create their own block lists (say, for typosquatters), and others can subscribe to those lists.

Additional updates to the service are discussed here.

Haute Secure is also now offering to scan sites regularly for owners, as third parties can sometimes upload malware to a site undetected via ads, widgets and hacking into the server. The basic package starts at $20/month, based on the number of URLs being monitored.

We continue to recommend this service. Even the most Internet savvy of us can get burned in a phishing scam, and the service might just block that site before you give it personal information.

The company raised $500,000 in angel funding in January 2007.