Symantec Gets Good Vibes From Virtualized Browser

January 14, 2009 – 6:42 PM

Security vendor Symantec is using new virtual machine technology to protect Web surfers from online attack.

Called Vibes, the software bounces between three different virtual machine sessions, depending on what the user is doing on the Web. When Vibes spots the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol used for secure Web transactions, it puts the user into a “trusted” virtual machine designed for things such as logging into banking sites. If the user starts running untrusted applications off the Web, then Vibes moves into a “playground” virtual machine where untrusted software can be run.

There is also a regular “user” machine mode for most day-to-day Web surfing.

Because Vibes runs inside a virtual machine, even if the user somehow installs malicious software on the PC, the virus can’t access anything important and it disappears when the virtual machine session is closed. “We want to prevent malicious programs from damaging end-users’ machines,” said Tzi-cker Chiueh, a senior director with Symantec’s research labs, at a press event in Mountain View, California, on Wednesday.


You must be logged in to post a comment.