ZoneAlarm ForceField puts browser in a sandbox

ZoneAlarm ForceField puts browser in a sandbox

Summary: Check Point Software Technologies has released a public beta of ZoneAlarm ForceField, a browser virtualization security tool that promises anti-phishing and spyware-blocking capabilities.

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Zone Alarm ForceFieldCheck Point Software Technologies has released a public beta of ZoneAlarm ForceField, a browser virtualization security tool that promises anti-phishing and spyware-blocking capabilities.

The software is available as a free download during the beta testing period. Check Point plans to slap a $29.95 price tag on the product once the final version ships in early 2008.

ZoneAlarm ForceField essentially puts the browser in a sandbox (Internet Explorer 6/7 and Firefox 2.0 are supported on Windows XP and Vista), allowing users to surf and shop online without fear of falling victim to drive-by exploits.

ForceField also erases all personal information after a Web browsing session to offer a privacy protection feature.

Check Point's marketing-speak, from a statement released at DemoFall:

Employing a state-of-the-art precision virtualization engine plus additional active security layers, ZoneAlarm ForceField provides distinctive and powerful protection against a breadth of Web-based attacks including browser exploits, drive-by downloads, and phishing attacks, plus keyloggers and spyware already on the PC. ForceField leverages the power of Check Point's Smart Defense Advisor, a hosted service that enables the company to offer users real-time protection against zero-hour threats.

Light, fast and easy-to-use, ZoneAlarm ForceField does not interfere with users' Web routines. At general availability launch expected in Q1 2008, ForceField will offer an instant version that deploys instantly to any PC without requiring manual installation to provide on-the-go, anytime use on any PC. The instant version will be included with the downloadable version of the product.

If it works as advertised, ZoneAlarm ForceField could expand on the concept introduced in Windows Vista's Internet Explorer with Protected Mode, the security feature that stops the browser from modifying user or system files and settings without user consent.

Firefox does not offer a Protected Mode feature.

Prior to its acquisition by Google, Green Border Technologies sold a browser virtualization software service. It is likely Google will release anti-malware technology based on the Green Border technology.

More from CNET's Robert Vamosi.

Topics: CXO, Browser, Hardware, Security, Software, Storage, Virtualization

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5 comments
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  • That's actually very interesting news, Ryan

    Thank you for letting us know.

    I wonder how well this will work in Microsoft's little present to Quicktime and Firefox? Will content presenting adjunct software be brought into the sandbox?

    If so, and if a good job is done -- perhaps looking to Google here -- then a lot of the nonsense should really stop.

    Kind regards...
    Narr vi
  • RE: ZoneAlarm ForceField puts browser in a sandbox

    I find it no better that already trusted sandboxes like DefenseWall or SandboxIE.
    Ilya Rabinovich
  • RE: ZoneAlarm ForceField puts browser in a sandbox

    In the last year,I've lost way too much confidence in ZoneAlarm! I'm a 5 year user and have witnessed a serious degradation in performance since checkpoint came on board! Virus signatures come out once in a while, Software updates have declined, My automatic updates have stopped, and the last software update was a disaster that many want nothing to do with! This "Checkpoint" now wants us to buy into a new virtual browser? I think not!

    I'm evaluating "Kaspersky Internet security" as a replacement to the "Flat lined" ZSS that blocks way too many web sites for no apparent reason, and can't be stopped from doing so! ZA has gone the way of so many others... They reaches market saturation, matured software, sold, and now being milked dry. All my opinion, of course. :)
    RS9
    • i have to agree RS9 a a matter of fact i just droped it and installed

      i have to agree RS9 a a matter of fact i just droped it and installed Kaspersky Internet Security. zonealarm securty suit with every release got worse.

      constent lock ups sucking all the computers resouces slowing boot time but minutes not seconds. and it would all ways crash it would hold settings.

      i finally gave up and installed Kaspersky and have not had any problems at all it runs like a top. and you get a license for 3 computers.

      i used zonealarm for 4 years but check point really took a good stable program and trashed it.
      SO.CAL Guy
  • RE: ZoneAlarm ForceField puts browser in a sandbox

    In the last year, I've lost way too much confidence in ZoneAlarm! I'm a 5 year user and have witnessed a serious degradation in performance since checkpoint came on board! Virus signatures come out once in a while, Software updates have declined, My automatic updates have stopped, and the last software update was a disaster that many want nothing to do with! This "Checkpoint" now wants us to buy into a new virtual browser? I think not!

    I'm evaluating "Kaspersky Internet security" as a replacement to the "Flat lined" ZSS that blocks way too many web sites for no apparent reason, and can't be stopped from doing so! ZA has gone the way of so many others... They reached market saturation, matured software, sold, and now being milked dry. All my opinion, of course. :)
    RS9