Security testers have released an internally-developed web browser they say is more secure and offers better privacy than the dominant offerings.
A team at WhiteHat Security released the beta version of the Aviator browser for Apple OS X stating that the browser would expose users to fewer online threats than commercial competitors.
The Chromium-based browser blocked online advertisements, cookies and cleared caches with the in-built Disconnect extension to prevent exposure to malvertising, and enforced click-to-play for Flash and java.
WhiteHat Labs developed Aviator which was required to be used for all company staff.
But the company did not release browser source code generating some initial criticism from security experts.
Product manager Robert Hansen said Microsoft, Google and Mozilla were competent with browser security but conflicted because of their need to display advertisements which he said exposed users.
"As the adage goes, 'If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold'," Hansen wrote in a blog.
"Browsers are no different, and the major vendors (Google, Mozilla, Microsoft) simply don’t want to make the changes necessary to offer a satisfactorily secure and private browser."
The Aviator ran in private mode; created a sandbox for each browser tab; stripped referring URLs across domains, and blocked access to websites behind user firewalls.
"WhiteHat Security has no interest or stake in the online advertising industry, so we can offer a browser free of ulterior motives. What you see is what you get. We aren’t interested in tracking you or your browsing history, or in letting anyone else have that information either," Hansen said.
More discussion on Reddit.