Kaspersky Targets Windows Phone with 'Safe' Browser

John Lister's picture

Security firm Kaspersky has released a special web browser for Windows phones aimed at blocking unwanted threats.

The browser, "Kaspersky Safe Browser for Windows Phone" app, is available to download free of charge from the official Windows Phone Store.

The main security feature is to block web links that may take a user to a harmful site. This isn't just sites that house malicious software that could damage a phone, but also "phishing" sites. (Source: kaspersky.com)

A phishing site is one that is set up to look like the real website of a legitimate company, for example an online bank or a web-based email service. The idea is to trick the user into handing over personal details such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Phishing Links Checked In Real Time

One neat feature of the app is that it checks links in "real time" against a constantly updated database of known risky sites. That may mean a slight slowdown in web browsing, but avoids the risks of relying on a database stored on the phone itself which may be out of date.

The other main feature of the app is more about convenience than security. It's a filtering system that lets users choose particular types of website they want blocked, such as gambling, adult material or violent content.

The app is compatible with "Kid's Corner", a feature on Windows phones that lets children use a parent's phone without having access to unsuitable material.

Windows Phone Also Utilizes a Virtual Sandbox

To date security firms haven't paid much attention to the Windows Phone.

That's partly because the system is relatively unpopular: it's used on less than five percent of smartphones in the US. Such a small market share means that hackers may be less willing to spend time trying to attack a Windows Phone compared with rival phone systems that have more users, and thus more potential targets. (Source: betanews.com)

That said, the Windows Phone already has adequate built-in security measures. In particular, it runs a "sandbox" mode which means that even if hackers are able to breach a particular application, they should have limited access to the rest of the phone and operating system.

Still, the introduction of the Kaspersky security tool is a reminder that even on the most securely-designed devices, the biggest risk is often human vulnerability, with people clicking on links they mistakenly believe to be trustworthy.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you use any special security tools on your phone? If so, which ones? Do you treat unknown links any differently on your phone to the way you treat them on a computer? Has your phone ever been infected with malware? What was the result of the malware infection and was it costly to remove?

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lilbj87's picture

I use Lookout security for my phone's antivirus solution. I've used AVG in the past but they all seem to do the same (live scanning of newly installed apps, full system scan, etc.). Luckily I've never had an issue of my phone being infected by malware.