Malware Wiki

McAfee SiteAdvisor

1,327pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Comments0 Share

SiteAdvisor is a service that reports on the safety of web sites by crawling the web and testing the sites it finds for malware and spam. The service was originally developed by SiteAdvisor, Inc, an MIT startup[1] first presented at CodeCon on February 10, 2006[2] and acquired by McAfee[3] on April 5, 2006.

SiteAdvisor PlusEdit

A paid version of McAfee SiteAdvisor, McAfee SiteAdvisor Plus, has extra features. The functionality of SiteAdvisor can be accessed either through a Browser Plugin or by submitting a URL to a website.

Extra features of McAfee SiteAdvisorEdit

  • Rates email and IM links
  • Indicates sites potentially harmful to your computer
  • Alerts users to possible phishing and identity theft scams
  • Redirects you away from red and yellow sites (if protected mode is enabled).


False positivesEdit

SiteAdvisor has received criticism for incorrectly flagging web sites with a caution or warning label.[4][5][6]

False negativesEdit

The very nature of SiteAdvisor and the long periods between site crawls mean that even if the SiteAdvisor tests were 100% accurate a Green rating offers no guarantee of safety. Malicious code and browser exploits often spread fast over large numbers of websites,[7] meaning a Green rating may not be up to date and may provide a false sense of security.

Communication and accountabilityEdit

In the event of a positive result website owners are not contacted. Although a dispute resolution service does exist, the final decision rests with McAfee.[8] In the event that a perceived threat is removed from a site the site's rating will return to Green through a process called 'ageingout'. Depending on the nature of the threat this process can take from 10 days to a year after the site is re-crawled, no strict timetable is provided.[9]


  • Time magazine named among the 50 coolest websites of 2006.[10]
  • Popular Science awarded SiteAdvisor the "Best of What's New" award in the Computing category for 2006.[11]
  • PC World ranked SiteAdvisor at #15 in "The 100 Best Products of 2007."[12]


  1. "McAfee acquires MIT startup SiteAdvisor at Digital...". 
  2. "CodeCon 2006 Program". 
  3. Dixon, Chris (2006-09-05). "Taking SiteAdvisor to the Next Level". Retrieved on 2006-09-05. 
  4. "Malware Advisor". Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  5. "McAfee SiteAdvisor gives yellow warning rating". Retrieved on 2008-04-16. 
  6. "McAfee SiteAdvisor gives Bitsum Technologies a RED rating due to false alarm on developer utility". Retrieved on 2008-12-01. 
  7. "PC-pwning infection hits 30,000 legit websites". Retrieved on 2009-07-18. 
  8. "What is the process for disputing my site's rating?". Retrieved on 2009-01-31. 
  9. "How long does it take for my site rating to change? Can I ask to be re-tested more quickly?". Retrieved on 2009-01-31. 
  10. "SiteAdvisor's entry in Time's 50 coolest websites of 2005".,8599,1222614,00.html#mcafeesiteadvisor. Retrieved on 2006-10-13. 
  11. "SiteAdvisor's entry in Popular Science's Best of What's New 2006". Retrieved on 2007-04-20. 
  12. "PC World's list of "The 100 Best Products of 2007"".,131935-page,13/article.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.