Finjan product blocks hostile programs, detects Trojan horses

Finjan product blocks hostile programs, detects Trojan horses

Security tool focuses on an executable file's behavior to tell whether to block or kill malicious code

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

Finjan Software Inc. is moving beyond the browser with the latest release of its SurfinShield Corporate security software, which protects against executable files transferred by e-mail and instant messaging, as well as via the Web.

Representatives of the San Jose, Calif., company said the First-Strike Security component in SurfinShield 4.7 proactively responds to new types of attacks before their patterns have been identified and incorporated into security software.

'We don't care about variations of the code,' Finjan chief technology officer Ron Moritz said. 'We don't trigger on code patterns. We trigger on some function or access that is trying to be achieved.'

Finjan established itself with protection against malicious Java and ActiveX mobile code from Web sites. First-Strike Security responds to the growing popularity of executables such as electronic greeting cards, games and animation distributed by other means.

Even benign programs can be used to sneak Trojan horses onto a computer to damage files or permit unauthorized access.

Instant messaging software allows real-time text exchange between users. Because it is more immediate than e-mail, it is gaining popularity as a workplace collaboration tool, Moritz said.

Instant messaging products have file transfer capability to push code from one machine to another. So-called buddy lists used by instant messaging products can be exploited to broadcast malicious code, just as the Melissa virus used e-mail address books.

Finjan's SurfinShield software protects against potentially harmful files transferred by e-mail and instant messaging products.

Smoke signals

SurfinShield Corporate has file transfer monitoring for instant messaging products including AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Tribal Voice Pow Wow and Microsoft MSN Messenger.

By focusing on a program's behavior rather than known code patterns, Finjan officials said, First-Strike Security can block or kill malicious code the first time it appears.

Users set policy to block bad behavior by executables, and they can also white-list useful programs such as software installation files.

SurfinShield Corporate 4.7 is available now at $59 per user. A standalone client module is downloadable free from Finjan's Web site, at

Contact Finjan at 408-324-0228.

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