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Study Claims IE Tops Rivals in Security


Netstat -vat by Sean Michael Kerner (bio)

A command line view of IT

IE.jpg From the "Read The Fine Print" files:

A new Microsoft-sponsored study from NSS Labs is out with a finding that IE 8 is the most secure browser, when it comes to catching, socially engineered malware. The study however did not look at the security of the browser or related plug-ins (like Flash).

What is socially engineered malware?

According to the NSS report, they defined a socially engineered malware URL as, "a Web page link that directly leads to a 'download' that delivers a malicious payload whose content type would lead to execution."

So for that type of scenario, NSS reported that IE 8 caught 81 percent of all threats. In contrast, Firefox 3 (they did their test prior to the final Firefox 3.5 release) only caught 27 percent while Google Chrome 2 caught 7 percent.

The interesting part of the Firefox 3 to Chrome 2 comparison, in my opinion, is the fact that both Firefox and Chrome use Google's SafeBrowsing API.  Firefox has been using Google's API since the Firefox 2 release.

In 2006, a Mozilla-sponsored study found that Firefox 2 was superior at catching phishing sites. Another 2006 study, sponsored by Microsoft, found that IE 7 had the best anti-phishing filter.

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