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Google Chrome extension detects dangerous websites

'DOM Snitch' observes web apps in realtime

Website security in corporate America

Google has released an extension for its Chrome browser that helps developers and security testers identify websites that execute unsafe code on end user computers.

The release of DOM Snitch, as the experimental extension is known, comes five weeks after application security provider Mind Security published a Firefox extension called DOMinator that does much the same thing. Both programs vet website-supplied code that gets executed by an end user's browser, which in geek speak is often referred to as the DOM, short for document object model.

Using DOM Snitch, web developers, penetration testers and unitiated browser users can observe DOM changes in realtime without having to analyze JavaScript with a debugger or a similar tool. The extension records the specific address and a complete stack trace that helps assess the likelihood of the code being vulnerable to common exploits, such as XSS, or cross-site scripting, attacks, or functions that allow one site to read or modify data set by another site.

The interface highlights activity logs in red when a security bug is spotted and yellow, green or gray shade when less severe issues are detected.

Google stresses that there are no guarantees that DOM Snitch will work flawlessly for all web applications. The documentation goes so far as to refer to the browser extension as still being in the alpha stage. Still, the free download is an easy way to quickly spot bad coding practices on all your favorite websites.

You can download it here. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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