The evaluation was based on the premise that anti-exploitation technology, such as sandboxing, reduces the vulnerability of a browser to a single exploit or an entire class of exploits. While Accuvant stressed that this was an “independently designed security analysis”, it was funded by Google.
Based on this premise, Google Chrome was ranked first, while Internet Explorer came in second and Firefox was third.
“Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art anti-exploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT [just-in-time] hardening. While both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement the same set of anti-exploitation technologies, Google Chrome’s plug-in security and sandboxing architectures are implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner. Therefore, we believe Google Chrome is the browser that is most secured against attack”, the report concluded.
In response to the Accuvant study Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla’s director of Firefox engineering, said in a statement: "Sandboxing is a useful addition to that toolbox that we are investigating, but no technology is a silver bullet. We invest in security throughout the development process with internal and external code reviews, constant testing and analysis of running code, and rapid response to security issues when they emerge.”