Ex-Softies launch anti-malware start-up

Ex-Softies launch anti-malware start-up

Summary: A quartet of former Microsoft employees have launched an anti-malware start-up, joining an established list of companies using browser plugins to thwart drive-by exploits.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Security

Ex-Softies launch anti-malware start-upA quartet of former Microsoft employees have launched an anti-malware start-up, joining an established list of companies touting browser plugins an an answer to the threat from drive-by exploits.

The company, called Haute Secure, is offering an Internet Explorer add-on that uses behavior-based profiling algorithms to identify and intercept malicious files in real-time.

The concept is hardly new and it's not clear how Haute Secure plans to distinguish itself from similar offerings from McAfee (SiteAdvisor), Trend Micro (TrendProtect), and my personal favorite, Roger Thompson's LinkScanner.

Google's recent purchase of GreenBorder Technologies, a company that sells browser virtualization software, is a strong hint that the search giant will also be a player in this space -- most likely via the Google Toolbar in IE and Firefox.

[ SEE: Trend Micro launches SiteAdvisor competitor ]

The fact that the company is the brainchild of former Microsoft security staffers could be a blessing -- and a curse -- depending on your level of satisfaction with the security of software coming out of Redmond.

The four founders are Iain Mulholland, a former security strategist and manager of the MSRC (Microsoft Security Response Center); Frank Swiderski, a software architect who did stints at Microsoft and @Stake; Rob Vucic, who worked at Redmond on Microsoft’s Secure Windows Initiative Internet Crime Investigations team; and Steve Anderson, who worked on the Windows Server team at Microsoft.

Haute Secure's plugin is currently offered as a free beta product but there are hints that future versions will be subscription-based, much like SiteAdvisor and LinkScanner. Support for Mozilla Firefox is coming down the pike.

TechCrunch reports that the company launched with $500,000 in funding from Baseline Ventures and Ron Conway. Also see this Alex Ionescu review.

Topics: Microsoft, Security

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  • Any Help Is Welcome

    In the dangerous seas of malware, this looks like a sensible tool to help us in our war with the bad guys. I agree about its development by those having been affiliated with Microsoft as a good/bad thing, but perhaps they built a tool for IE based on what they perceived as elements lacking in Microsoft's methods and outlook.

    Can't hurt to try it, that's for sure!
  • More Bloatware?

    If these guys are from MS originally... I MAY be talked into considering to tyry this out... IF... IF it removes the #1 piece of MALWARE... And I mean all 1,545.67 and 1/2 MS SECURITY UPDATES which download without my permission at a rate of about 152.25 per second into my PC.

    That is an exaggeration, but I was not suprised to see that I needed 150 So-Called Security "Updates" (Downdates, really) the last time I installed XP Pro /SP2

    If this heap is guaranteed to accomplish, with One install, what 150 Security Downdates are allegedly supposed to do, then it is for me.

    However, when it comes to apples falling from trees, I'd much rather stay away from anything that was tainted by MS.

    I want Just ONE Antivirus program that does not bloat me. I also want only one anti-spyware program that DOES NOT BLOAT ME.

    So far, that combination is NOD32 and Ad Aware (NOT Ad Aware 2007 -which sucks)

    These guys could do us a lot of good if they agree to create programs that BLOCK all of Microsoft's backdoor accounts and and crap.
  • did you click "yes" to "automatically install updates"?

    Erm, did you click "yes" to "automatically install updates" when you were installing XP? If so, you did give permission...

    Don't get me wrong, I think having to download 80+ updates on a new XP Sp2 installation is a bit overdone. Alternatively, you don't install... Since I do quite a few of installs I have my own "SP3" CD.