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Technology / Cybersecurity

Cyber criminals exploit vulnerabilities in old browsers: report

About 23% of the users are still using old or outdated browsers, leaving big security holes for the system, according to Kaspersky Lab.

According to the anti-virus application developer, majority of the cyber attacks are carried out through by exploiting vulnerabilities in the web browser applications themselves, or outdated plug-ins within the browser.

A study conducted by Kaspersky Lab found that about 14.5% of the users are using previous version, but 8.5% still use obsolete versions while about 77% customers are using the latest stable or beta versions of the browser.

Since web users take about a month to update their browser to upgrade to the latest version, leaving the vulnerabilities in the browsers exposed to cybercriminals to exploit.

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During the survey it was found that Internet Explorer was most popular browser with 37.8% of the users are using it while 36.5% are using Google Chrome and about 19.5% are using Firefox.

In terms of upgrade being installed, about 80% of the Internet Explorer users installed recent version, 79.2% installed Chrome, 78.1% Opera and Firefox 66.1%.

Kaspersky Lab Whitelisting and Cloud Infrastructure Research director Andrey Efremov said the research paints an alarming picture.

"While most users make a switch to the most recent browser within a month of the update, there will still be around a quarter of users who have not made the transition," Efremov said.

"That means millions of potentially vulnerable machines, constantly attacked using new and well-known web-born threats. This is strong evidence of the urgent need for proper security software which is able to react to new threats in a matter of minutes, not days or even weeks."

Among the obsolete browsers being used by web users are Internet Explorer 6 and 7 which jointly account 3.9% share.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.

CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.