Esa Suurio är en av grundarna till MyWOT intervjuas av Mjukvara.se. MyWOT har byggt en pluggin till Firefox som är en av de mest spridda på jorden ,som heter WOT . För er som ännu inte känner till denna Pluggin så gör den att man varnas för farliga websidor, innan man går dit. WOT crowdsourcar all denna information från sina användare, dvs det är användarna som flaggar websidor som farliga eller ofarliga. Detta gör att enorma mängder sidor är klassificerade och dyker det upp nya farliga sidor blir de fort klassificerade.
CR: How did you get this idea?
Esa Suurio: Against Intuition Inc., the company behind Web of Trust, was founded in 2006 by two postgraduate students, Timo Ala-Kleemola and Sami Tolvanen, both M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. Timo and Sami graduated from Tampere University of Technology (Finland) where they had met and studied together. Sami explains how he got the idea:
“I came up the idea while researching reputation systems for my doctoral thesis in 2005. I originally planned on using one as a part of an Internet messaging system I was designing, but decided to try if it would work for websites too, and it did.”
“We wanted to create a common platform for people to share their experience on websites and the services they offer”, explains Timo. “The nature of Internet is open. No single authority can decide what is good and what is bad – neither has the resources to do so.”
CR:You have plenty of users. MyWot is one of the most download firefox pluggins in the world. How are you creating a business model around this software and community?
Esa Suurio: Since WOT is a tool that helps individual Internet users surf safer, it feels natural to look for partnerships with the traditional security companies. We anticipate that these partnerships can well create us revenues, and we are exploring various avenues regarding this. As most young Web 2.0 companies, we have currently been focused on growing our user community and developing our service. The growth rate and the positive feedback from the user community is very encouraging, and we feel that we are on the right path.
CR Statistics about bad websites. Just give me some data that describes your findings.
Esa Suurio:WOT has currently safety ratings on over 21 million websites, and out statistics show that 1 in every 20 websites is harmful. The most common issue with the sites seems to be the privacy: what happens when the user provides his or her personal information to the site owner.
When looking more closely at the risky websites, WOT statistics show that 28% of the dangerous sites deal with adult content, 27% with free and licensed software that is sold and downloaded over the Internet, and 16% with entertainment, such as movies, games, music, screensavers, smileys. Often these dangerous sites remain operational for months or years, attracting millions of visitors and causing them damage.
CR:Tell us about the security problems on the internet. What are your findings and conclusions?
A recurring issue that is getting more prevalent is fraudulent software posing as real software. Some call it “scareware.” For example, an Internet user receives a series of fake security alerts, like a pop-up that tells them to run a free scan because their machine may be infected with viruses or spyware. The alert then tries to redirect them to a site that, in turn, sells them bogus software to fix a problem that they don’t really have.
In some cases, the fake software infects the computer and the virus you end up with could put you at risk of identity theft or financial fraud. The FTC (US Federal Trade Commission) estimates that millions of people have already fallen victim to this type of fraud, but fortunately they have won a restraining order that stops several sellers of scareware from continuing to trade. (See this BBC article for more info),
Another issue that has been reported to us by WOT users is the increasing number of authentic websites that are being hijacked. The usual case is when a user searches for a site in Google, clicks on the link and is then redirected to a bogus site that automatically starts downloading malicious software. It actually happened to us when we were making a video about fake malware:
We advocate using a “layered approach” to Internet security to protect yourself from these types of threats. WOT offers Internet users preventive protection against online threats, but you still need up-to-date antivirus and antispyware software, a firewall, and a safe browser like Firefox.
5. Tell me a story of a user who was really saved by your software!
Esa Suurio:I have saved a few comments from users. Here is a sample:
My old computer crashed a bunch of times. After installing WOT I found out that I might have visited some websites with malicious content.
I’ve been using WOT for several months and have found that it gives me a real sense of security due to the warnings against visiting several web sites that would have otherwise jerked me around in some way. Thanks fordoing this for all of us.
You had really done a beautiful job and a wonderful service to me that had being of a good help to me. Thanks for it. It is really very nice of you, honestly; there is so much satisfaction with the guarantee for the health of our softwares in our computers that I be having the economical resource to make you (WOT developers ) a present I´d be really pleased to… You are doing so much good to the community and the people just like USA government´s schools and hospitals do: a push up to everybody for a better living.
Just want to thank you for running WOT, I find it really useful to see rates when I Google something, or looking for downloads, and also it has just stopped an odd pop-up ad in disturbing me.
Keep it going! 🙂
I love WOT! I’ve gotten to where I feel naked & blind when not using it!
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