Interferon-α (IFN-α) has been used for more than 20 years as the first-line therapy for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, because it has a number of antiviral effects. In this study, we describe a novel mode of its antiviral action. We demonstrate that the supernatant from IFN-α-treated cultured cells restricted HBV and HCV infection by inhibiting viral entry into hepatoma cells. The factors contained in the supernatant competed with the virus for binding to heparan glycosaminoglycans-the nonspecific attachment step shared by HBV and HCV. Secreted factors of high molecular mass that bind to heparin columns elicited the antiviral effect. In conclusion, IFN-α is able to induce soluble factors that can bind to heparan glycosaminoglycans thus leading to the inhibition of viral binding.