Competition for SiteAdvisor - LinkScanner
McAfee's Site Advisor has competition, strong competition, from LinkScanner, a new (free) offering by security startup Exploit Prevention Labs. LinkScanner claims to be a real time exploit scanner, unlike McAfee's Site Advisor which it describes as "not immediate and not empirical".
LinkScanner is the brainchild of Bob Bales, Greg Mosher, Chris Weltzien and Roger Thompson, three of whom have former ties with Pest Patrol, which was sold to Computer Associates in 2004.
LinkScanner will "visit the URL in a controlled environment on our servers. LinkScanner will inspect it in real-time for whether it is hiding any exploit code and, if so, what exploit."
Point one in LinkScanner's favour - its not owned by McAfee
Point two in LinkScanner's favour - it seems to do the job
Point three in LinkScanner's favour - its scans in real time and can report on any accessible URL, unlike SiteAdvisor which does not offer 100% coverage.
The fact that LinkScanner is real time gives it a major advantage over SiteAdvisor (assuming that those behind LinkScanner stay up to date with the latest exploits in use, and add detection of same).
IMPORTANT: Please do not visit the malware sites mentioned below - www.ie-vista .com and inetexplorer.mvps.org are, of course, safe to visit.
SiteAdvisor and LinkScanner sometimes give conflicting advice. For example, SiteAdvisor's report on errorsafe.com states:
To me this says that the site is only dangerous insofar as it "links" to winfixer.com. It does not make me believe that it is a site that should be avoided completely. LinkScanner, on the other hand, reported the existence of malicious code:
I then tested a known site that uses exploits to try and infect PCs with malware. Site Advisor reported:
LinkScanner, on the other hand, reported:
Just to be sure, I also tested some known "friendly" sites