Tools from anti-malware firm Haute Secure will be implemented alongside Opera's fraud protection software.
Haute Secure produces security plug-ins for other browsers, but both companies believe that Opera will gain an advantage over Firefox and Internet Explorer because the Haute software is so deeply embedded in the browser.
"We were really pleased when we found Haute Secure," said Thomas Ford, global communications manager at Opera.
"We have protection not only from the drive-by, but from people clicking a link that will send them to a site."
Ford said that the deal could also pay dividends in the future because the Haute software could be extended to a mobile version of Opera.
Haute uses a combination of malware behaviour analysis and a public database to detect and block malicious links embedded within a page, rather than the entire site.
Co-founder Steve Anderson said that the new approach has been a goal for Haute ever since the company was founded in 2006 by former members of Microsoft's security team.
"The whole notion of starting this company was to redefine detection and protection from web-based threats," said Anderson.
"Getting detection down to the link level is very important. If you block access to the [whole] site, users are not going to listen to you."
The company hopes that the new feature will give Opera an advantage over Firefox, which plans to integrate security software from Google in its upcoming release.
"They are building in a one-trick pony, which is to hook up with the Google anti-malware list," Anderson said of Firefox. "We are essentially treating Opera like another Haute Secure client."
User interaction also figures highly in the new incarnation of Opera. The browser already relies on a number of public databases for its anti-fraud tools, and will do the same with its anti-malware features.
Thomas noted that the use of public databases will also add a human element, weeding out false positives and finding problems early on.
"There is a community that has popped up and has started to create their own bad site lists," said Anderson.
"You have other organisations that are pretty prodigious in that they go out and publish lists of known bad sites. Now we're giving them a vehicle for that. "
Opera claims to prevent web-based attacks
By Shaun Nichols on Jun 10, 2008 2:13PM