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August 13, 2009

Microsoft’s IE 8 tops other browsers in security tests: report

Internet Explorer 8 blocked 81% of socially engineered malware sites

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) has been rated top among the five browsers Mozilla Firefox 3, Google Chrome 2, Opera 10 Beta, Apple Safari 4 and IE 8, for effectiveness in protection against malware and phishing attacks, according to tests conducted by NSS Labs. Microsoft has sponsored for the security tests.

Two separate tests measured protection against phishing and socially engineered malware across the 5 browsers.

According to the research findings, socially engineered malware is the most common and impactful threat on the internet. Internet Explorer 8 caught 81% of the socially engineered malware sites over time, followed by Firefox 3 blocking 27%, Safari 4 blocking 21%, Chrome 2 blocking 7% and Opera 10 Beta blocking 1%.

Internet explorer also stood on top for protecting users against phishing attacks blocking 83% of the attacks. Firefox 3 was very close blocking 80% of the phishing attacks while Opera 10 Beta exhibited more extreme variances during testing and averaged 54% protection. Chrome 2 consistently blocked 26% of phishing sites while Safari 4 offered 2% overall protection.

Rick Moy, president of NSS Labs, said: In addition of comparing browsers among themselves, the test also benchmarked the browsers against cybercriminals. While the other browsers maintained or decreased protection between the two tests, Internet Explorer continued to improve its protection against cybercriminals.

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