Thursday, August 20, 2009

I E8 - More Secure Than Firefox And Chrome?

Microsoft may get criticised for computer security issues, but IE8 just came top in a security study, assault Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. Larry Walsh asks - is it time to amend your best of browser?

Microsoft gets a lot of affliction (and appropriately so) for the crisis of its products. But if it comes to endlessly accepted Web-based attacks adjoin browser users, its Internet Explorer 8 topped the acreage of above browsers in a security assay conducted by NSS Labs.

Within anniversary Web browser are alert appearance that bouncer adjoin awful activity, such as phishing attacks, pixel-embedded malware, agenda affidavit inspection, Web website reputational assay and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

In the NSS Labs assay with reside traffic, Internet Explorer 8 bent 81 percent of the attacks advancing over the wire. IE8 - an advancement that we rated awful in our analysis - awfully outperformed the additional abutting rival, Firefox 3, which bent 54 percent of the entering threats. IE8’s achievement bigger 12 percent over a agnate assay conducted the antecedent quarter; NSS Labs credits around-the-clock improvements to its SmartScreen technology.

The abstinent install of Firefox 3 (IE's better amateur with a billion downloads) bootless to affect testers, but it did badly advance if acclimated with Google’s SafeBrowsing, a plugin that inspects Web sites for awful or counterfeit characteristics.

Google’s ballyhooed browser Chrome (v2) alone bent 7 percent of the threats, a bead of 8 percent from the antecedent test. Safari 4 best up 21 percent of the threats and Opera 10 Beta was the affliction performer, audition just 1 percent of awful traffic.

When it comes to phishing attacks, Mozilla Firefox bigger its continuing adjoin IE8; the two browsers denticulate a statistical tie (IE8, 83 percent; Firefox 3, 80 percent). Opera 10 badly bigger its achievement from the awful cartage assay by communicable 54 percent of phishing attacks. Chrome 2 and Safari 4 angled out the assay field, communicable 26 percent and 2 percent of the attacks, respectively.

“Web browsers are in a different position to action phishing and added bent activities by admonishing abeyant victims that they are about to devious assimilate a awful Web site. Since phishing sites accept an boilerplate lifespan of alone 52 hours, it is capital that the website is discovered, validated, classified and added to the acceptability arrangement as bound as possible- The developers at both Microsoft support and Mozilla acutely accept this accord and acknowledge bound to block new phishing sites,” NSS Labs wrote in its report.

It’s simple to dump on Microsoft for its continued history of security vulnerabilities and adulterated software. And browser purists will altercate the affection virtues and achievement of Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome over Internet Explorer. But the NSS Labs assay shows that the above security achievement of Internet Explorer 8 (still the arch browser in business, for assorted reasons)should accord users abeyance in because a about-face to a aggressive browser.

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