Internet users have a few choices when it comes to secure web browsing. It begins with modifications in the web browser they are using, like installing the NoScript add-on to block all scripts from loading on websites, over sandboxing the browser with programs such as Sandboxie, to virtual machines and Live CDs.
Webconverger belongs to the Live CD group but with a few differences. The software has been designed initially for kiosk usage but can be used for all web browsing needs. The software is derived from Debian and uses Firefox with Adobe Flash and pdf reading support.
The distribution has been hardened in several ways. It boots for instance directly into the web browser ignoring any hard drives on the computer system it is booted from. The web browser and underlying operating system are stored in memory which means that no data can be passed on to the local system.
This environment is ideal for Internet banking, financial transactions, shopping and business related web browsing.
Webconverger limits the possibility to fall pray to certain attack forms on the Internet. It is for instance not possible to be infected (permanently) with a trojan or worm considering that the malicious code cannot store itself in another location but the computer memory.
The usual precautions still have to apply though as it is for instance still possible to snoop on the network traffic in a browsing session. Users who only open the secure websites of the services they want to interact with should be save however (unless the site has been hacked).
Webconverger should run on most computer systems that have a CD-ROM drive. The software runs for example on a Pentium 3s with 128MB of RAM. Webconverger is available for download at the official project website. The distribution is offered in ISO format which means that users need to burn it to CD or DVD before they can use it.
It is also important to note that the computer needs to be configured to boot from optical drives or USB drives before internal hard drives as it is otherwise not possible to boot into the browser directly.
The Webconverger team released several videos that explain how to properly configure the computer and use the software. Here is one.
Update: The most recent version of Webconverger has a size of about 400 Megabyte which you need to download first.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.