Check downloads and websites for malware with Metascan Online for Firefox

MetascanOnline200-175OPSWAT has announced the availability of Metascan Online for Firefox, an addon which allows the browser to scan downloads, websites and web connections for threats.

Checking a link is as easy as right-clicking it and selecting "Scan with Metascan Online". If the link is a file, then it is uploaded to VirusTotal competitor Metascan Online and checked with 40+ commercial antivirus engines. A detailed report will tell you which -- if any -- are detected as a threat.

If the link was to a website, then Metascan Online runs a check with 13 databases of known malicious sites (Alien Vault, Malc0de, Malware Domain List, Phish Tank, Spy Eye Tracker, Spamhaus, Zeus Tracker and more), highlighting any which report a problem. There are even options to scan the current website, or your active web connections, for threats.

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While this all worked just fine for us, there are problems. Most obviously, the extension isn't yet available from Mozilla, so you must download it from OPSWAT, instead. Yes, it's a very early release, and OPSWAT is a trustworthy source, but we would still expect a security product to arrive through official channels.

Setup is awkward, as you can’t just install it and go. No, you must instead create an OPSWAT Portal account, verify it, log in, view your API key in one section of the site and paste it into a box somewhere else. None of this is even slightly difficult -- it'll all be finished in less than 5 minutes, probably -- but it's still more complex than similar VirusTotal add-ons.

If you're willing to make the effort, though, Metascan Online for Firefox does provide a straightforward way to check links and websites for danger.

OPSWAT has also made Metascan Online for Chrome available, which unfortunately does not include the website and connection checks. However, it does provide more options with downloads (they can be scanned automatically), and it is available from the official Chrome store.

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