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Safari, Firefox, and Chrome disappoint in browser security testing, as IE9 stands out

28 July 2011

The Apple Safari 5, Mozilla Firefox 4, and Google Chrome 10 browsers each caught only 15% of live socially engineered malware samples, according to NSS Labs’ tests of web browser protection for European users.

Internet Explorer (IE) 9 caught 92% of live malware threats, and IE8 caught 90%, according to the NSS Labs browser security report. Opera 11, by contrast, only caught 5% of live threats.

NSS Labs explained that the SmartScreen Filter protection offered by Windows IE 9 was primarily responsible for the impressive browser security results. The filter has two components: URL Reputation, which is also included in IE8, and Application Reputation, which is new to IE9.

“IE9 with SmartScreen offers the best protection of any browser against socially engineered malware”, the company concluded.

In its browser security testing, NSS Labs focused on URLs considered to be of significant threat to European users and followed the same live testing methodology used in its global tests conducted in 2009 and 2010.

According to the company, the web browser security report “contains empirically validated evidence gathered during 19 days of 24 x 7 testing, performed every six hours, over 76 discrete test runs, each one adding fresh new malware URLs. Each product was updated to the most current version available at the time testing began, and allowed access to the live Internet.”

This article is featured in:
Application Security  •  Internet and Network Security


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