Feeds

Anonymizer preps Private Surfing 2.0

Takes shot in privacy arms race

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Anonymizer Inc will tomorrow introduce version 2.0 of its popular anonymous web surfing service, Private Surfing, containing more features aimed at advancing its position in what CEO Bill Unrue calls the "privacy arms race", Kevin Murphy writes.

It's a war zone out there. Not only do internet users have to contend with hackers, as they did back in 1996 when Anonymizer was founded, now they've got to look out for intrusive employee internet management software, government snooping and ubiquitous pop-up advertisements for tiny wireless cameras.

"There's now more corporate monitoring of employees, and governments spying on their citizens in foreign countries," said Unrue. "And 90% of all sites out there are now gathering personal information."

Anonymizer acts as a proxy for its users' web surfing, preventing pop-ups, IP address logging and some hacking attempts on the one hand, and keeping your browser history and cookie folder clean of incriminating evidence on the other. The company offers a free crippled version and a $50-per-year subscription version.

In Private Surfing 2.0, URLs are now scrambled to prevent them showing up in history files and page titles are removed. The service also introduces "full-time" SSL - all pages are encrypted between anonymizer.com and the user are encrypted to prevent monitoring, even if the original site did not use SSL.

But the service isn't just something that husbands can use to hide which adult sites they've visited from their wives, or which slacking employees can use to surf sports sites during work hours. There are applications of the technology that corporations can use to protect their intellectual property and to gather market intelligence.

Unrue said it is often used by enterprises for checking out their competitor's web sites. He cited instances where companies have programmed their sites to return false information, inflated prices or even job offers if a page is requested from an address in their competitor's IP range.

In one instance, Unrue said, a company was able to track a new competitor's product lifecycle from development, engineering and ultimately sales and marketing, merely by analyzing the logs for which parts of its site were accessed by the rival and how frequently. The firm could guess the date of the product launch within a week, he said. Be afraid.

© ComputerWire

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.