Safe Browsing from Lookout Mobile Security scans every Website before it loads on the Android Web browser. The tool tries to detect phishing sites to warn users before they hand over personal information. The scan is surprisingly quiet and quick.
Security added a new tool called Safe Browsing to its Lookout service to
protect users from Websites that can attack their Android phones.
checks every Website the user tries to access before it loads to prevent
Websites from downloading malware onto the device, Lookout said June 15. It
also tries to detect phishing sites to warn users before they hand over
Users are less
likely to check whether the links on the smartphone are safe or not because they
don't think of it as a computer, James Lyne, director of technology strategy at
Sophos, told eWEEK.
They are often
more susceptible to phishing scams, malicious sites and drive-by downloads on
the mobile device than they are on the PC, Lyne said.
been more than 100,000 phishing attacks targeting frequently visited sites such
as Facebook, banking sites, government agencies and donation Websites,
according to Lookout. Users are three times more likely to click on a
suspicious link on a mobile phone because of the smaller screen than they would
on a PC, a recent report from Trusteer found.
available only for the default Android Web browser, Lookout may support
alternate browsers such as Firefox in future releases.
with the new feature for the past week, eWEEK
found that the scan is quick and unobtrusive. The only indication the user has
that the site has been scanned is a small green shield, the Lookout logo, that
appears in the notifications bar. If the site was malicious, Safe Browsing pops
up a warning, "You are visiting a site that may not be safe. We recommend that
you do not visit this page." Users can click on the button to "Proceed Anyway,"
at the risk that the user's phone will be compromised.
also scanned links from within the Facebook application, protecting users from
malicious sites and "click jacking" scams that proliferate on the social-networking
site. This was perhaps the most useful part of Safe Browsing, as users tend to
trust links posted by their friends, not always realizing that the malicious
site may have posted the link automatically after tricking the friend into
clicking on it in the first place. eWEEK
tested several malicious links and triggered the Safe Browsing warning each
is included in the latest version of the Lookout Premium service, a security
application that scans the phone for malware, performs regular backups and
restores, and tracks lost/stolen devices. Safe Browsing shows up as a new
option on its main screen that is toggled on. There is no need to run a manual
scan or to fiddle with the settings once it is turned on.
A free trial
is available, and the Premium service itself is priced at $3 per month. Sprint
has also partnered with Lookout to provide its customers with the Lookout
Mobile Security application. The application appears under the "Sprint Tab" in
the Android Market as well as on the Sprint Zone.