While you may not spend much time thinking about how malicious Web sites can wreck havoc on your PlayStation 3, you’ll find that with the new 2.0 system update, you now have a new tool at your disposal to keep them at bay anyway. Announced today as the first of its kind for a console, Trend Micro is offering what it calls its Web Security Service for the PS3. Using their own Web reputation and URL filtering technology (and all that other IT mumbo-jumbo) the software is designed to strengthen security, and make sure that all you need to worry yourself with is why exactly you would choose to browse the Internet on a gaming console in the first place. Still wondering how it works? Read on, and let the experts break it down for you:
Function: Blocks malicious and harmful websites
Access to websites that are classified into specific categories (Adult/Sex, Alcohol/Tobacco, Crime, Cults/The Occult, Gambling, Hacking/Proxy Avoidance, Illegal Drugs, Sex Education, Violence/Hate/Racism, Weapons/Military, etc.) can be blocked simply by going to the PS3 Internet Browser menu,*4 selecting “Tool,” and then selecting “Trend Micro Web Security for PS3” from “Browser Security.” A password will be needed.
Blocking Mechanism: Web reputation combined with URL filtering
When a website is accessed from PS3, Trend Micro in-the-cloud databases are looked up. The URL filtering database classifies Web sites into categories, and the Web reputation database is highly immediate in evaluating Web pages, domains and IP addresses. By using both capabilities together, malicious Web pages and Web sites that were previously difficult to handle only with URL filtering can also be blocked.
Although a price for the service has not been announced as of yet, it will remain free up until the end of April 2008. I can’t exactly say that I’m overly familiar with many stories of gaming consoles coming under attack, but it’s a sad fact that the Internet is a battlefield, and you pretty much have to error on the side of caution and fortify anything that leads to it. What’s next– telemarketers adding us to their friend’s list, and late night infomercials breaking into our gaming sessions? It’s good to know that we have protection on at least one front now. Hopefully the braintrusts over at Trend Micro will develop a version that puts an end to shitty ports across consoles. I’d buy that software in an instant.