Trend Micro has launched a security service for Sony's PS3 (PlayStation 3) that blocks access to some potentially malicious websites. Trend's service is available as part of Sony's 2.00 firmware update for the PS3, also released today.
The service - called Trend Micro Web Security for PS3 - will be free for users until April 2008, and Trend has not yet released future pricing, said Keith Reed, Trend's online manager for Europe.
Games consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360 are increasingly accessing the internet to download new games or for web browsing, which potentially expose the machines to the same kind of threats as desktop PCs, Reed said.
The PS3, which has a port for an ethernet cable or can wirelessly access the internet, has a web browser, which could be a potential vector for security problems, Reed said.
Trend's service checks a website a person is trying to access against its own database of malicious sites. The service also uses so-called 'reputation' technology, checking where a website is hosted and who owns it and then determining if it poses a risk and should be blocked, he said.
Users can also configure Trend's software to automatically block websites that fall into certain categories such as 'Adult/Sex', 'Alcohol/Tobacco' and 'Cult/The Occult'. Those classifications are contained in Trend's database of websites.
Gamers have become a target for hackers. About two years ago, Sony's PSP (PlayStation Portable) device was targeted by a Trojan horse application posing as a firmware modification, but which deleted crucial startup files.