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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.