Thursday, April 06, 2006

McAfee Buys SiteAdvisor

Congratulations to Chris Dixon and the whole team on an outstanding outcome for them and their appreciative investors.

Chris started SiteAdvisor while still a member of our investment team in New York. In 2004 Rob Stavis (of Skype fame) sponsored and incubated Chris' idea within Bessemer, despite doubts some of us had that such an ambitious product could be built. But the latest release and dozens of positive reviews prove otherwise. Don't leave your home page without it!


  1. Just in time too. It appears similar technology is about to be integrated for free into popular browsers and e-mail programs.

    Microsoft will be integrating anti-phishing technology into IE7 as part of the Vista launch. Google already has anti-phishing integrated into GMail and their Firefox toolbar.

  2. Greg, you need to try SA to appreciate the differences. Besides, it is hard to believe that streams of signatures and profiles will ever be given away fo free by anyone, including Microsoft.

  3. David:
    What about Nessus and Snort? I appreciate that there are commercial products that support these open source projects but they both offer regular signature updates for free. I guess Nessus's free "registered" signature feed is 7 days delayed. Nonetheless the point holds completely with Snort. Or have I misinterpreted the streams of signatures that you were referring to?

  4. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Good comments by Andrew and I would add SpamAssasin to that list as well.

    However, it is not a sustainable model and it sure isn't the norm.

    Andrew, do you really believe that it is possible to build security solution for enterprise using only open source?

    I very much doubt it.

  5. Anonymous:

    I think Sourcefire's near miss on their $200M+ sale to Check Point is strong validation for the open source business model.

    However, I’m not sure if by open source you mean projects with out any commercial product to suppliment their development? Anyway, I can think of two good open source projects without commercial products: nmap and paros.

    That said, neither nmap, nor paros require the constant signature updates that make supporting an open source security project like nessus or snort difficult.


  6. Okay, on second thought, ClamAV is a good example of an open source product that is community supported and provides regular signature updates without a commercial product.

  7. ClamAV is high @ Anti Viruses best AV List (including non-Open-Source).
    They are also high in the list of shortest time to release a new signature.
    Kaizen - soon they will have a larger sig generation team than any commercial company.
    -Shlomo Touboul.

  8. Anonymous8:45 PM

    Other side of the coin (a community review system) which is growing bigger and bigger every day is also working on the same line. The concept is not only to offer the safety levels but also to accommodate community reviews which include feedback about the services, products and policies. , some websites covering Hedir quoted it as threat to DMOZ as it involves everyone associated with the site, be it a customer or company representative or an editor.

    How will it work?
    Site Advisor checks for possible virus threats or spam emails or some related areas. Hedir will offer a little more than SiteAdvisor in terms of proper reviews and customer feedbacks.

    Hedir’s Advantage over Site Advisor
    With an already existing community support it will evolve better. For each category Hedir is offering a forum where people are discussing and comparing sites. It will offer an unbiased platform to check

    1) Safety level
    2) Rating Adult content and checking for potentially offensive content through community review.
    3) Integration with Search Engines
    4) Open DB access which will allow Search Engines and other applications to use Human feedbacks for rankings.
    5) And more at Hedir Community forums

    I am just a community member of Hedir enjoying the innovative idea.