Browsing safely, browser updates, and a brief look forward – security news

Safe Browsing – Tip of the Week

This week’s tip comes courtesy of the Security Now! podcast, a great weekly treatise on all things secure. This is a really cool tip, thanks to Steve Gibson for producing a very informative podcast!

There is a “diagnostic page” on Google, that consolidates malware reporting of a given domain or site based on Google’s crawling of the website. It will give a report on the website, indicating whether Google’s web crawling bots have detected malware in the site or any of its links. The diagnostic page is accessible using the following URL text:

Where you can substitute “” with any domain for which you wish to see a report. For example, if we run this against the New York Times, using the following URL:

We find that there is a record of malicious software found on one page of the site, which is consistent with the news reports surrounding that incident. Trying this diagnostic URL against other, more questionable sites, yields some often more colorful reporting. Go ahead, click the link to see the report. Cool!

This is one handy trick that I’ll keep up my sleeve, for use prior to browsing to questionable sites!

Browser Updates

Firefox has released version 3.5.3 (or 3.0.14 for those still using the legacy version). This version fixes several known security risks, as well as incorporating some stability fixes.

Google Chrome was updated to, incorporating stability fixes that have been in beta for the past few months.

Here are the latest current browser versions. Use Help > About… in your browser to verify you are up to date:

No changes since our last status update:


Adobe Software

Adobe’s next security maintenance release for Acrobat and Reader is planned for Tuesday, October 13. It is not clear whether there will be any update to Flash Player in the next security cycle.

That’s all for this week’s security update!

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