We all know the relative truth that there is no such thing as malware that can strike iOS devices. Malware breeds in incestuous pits of the Internet with botnets and spammers lurking around every URL or third-party app store. Oh, but never on your iPhone. Malware is as synonymous with the Internet as search, chat or porn. Yet, when browsing with you Mac or iDevice, there is still a fair likelihood that you will run into a malware stricken site that could potentially do you harm.
AnchorFree, makers of the powerful Hotspot Shield application, are adding a new function to its offering today. When browsing the Web, Hotspot Shield will now alert users when a site they visit contains malware. It may seem a trivial update to for the malware-invincible iOS but there is more danger than meets the eye.
David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree, recognizes that there is no known malware that affects iOS devices. That does not mean that a user could not have a password stolen while using mobile Safari or some other type of browser on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Hotspot Shield works through the browser to detect up to 3 million malware threats.
For those unfamiliar with Hotspot Shield, it is a service that can create a mobile virtual private network (VPN) from anywhere. The purpose of this is to encrypt a users browser activity with an HTTPS connection. In many countries, Hotspot Shield is used to get around censorship laws and blocked websites. For instance, Hotspot Shield made a name for itself in 2011 by allowing users to access restricted sites during the uprisings associated with the Arab Spring.
"AnchorFree is not about protecting your device, it is about protecting your browsing," Gorodyansky told ReadWriteWeb. "We protect all of your traffic, and we do it through the cloud."
The free version of Hotspot Shield protects users from 1.5 million malware threats. Users of Hotspot Shield Elite and mobile app (which is free with a monthly service charge) receive protection against an additional 1.5 million threats. Those include malware sites, malware-infected sites riddled with Trojans, phishing sites looking for user passwords as well as content farms and spam. When a user visits one of these types of sites through the browser, Hotspot Shield will alert the user to the danger and direct them away from the page (or allow them to click through if they are insistent).
Hotspot Shield has 10 million monthly users and is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or a PC. Gorodyansky said that the next launch set for AnchorFree will be to brand into the world of Android.
AnchorFree recognizes that there are many ways a user can come to harm on the Internet. Mobile malware is not just something found in third-party app stores or from time to time in the Android Market. The fundamental basis of smartphones are that they are devices that can access the Web. The beauty and power of the Web is that it knows few restrictions. AnchorFree not only wants to allow users to break through those restrictions, but also protect them against the inevitable dangers that is inherent with that freedom.