Which web browser is the safest? Current trends show over 50% of malware infections occur via Internet download. During Q1, 2009 NSS Labs performed the industry’s first comprehensive test of web browser protection against socially engineered malware.
This report examines the ability of six different web browsers to protect users from this leading threat. The results are based upon empirically validated evidence gathered by NSS Labs during 12 days of 24×7 testing of more than 154,000 individual tests.
Tested products include:
Apple Safari v3
Google Chrome 1.0.154
Microsoft Internet Explorer v8 (RC1)
Microsoft Internet Explorer v7
Mozilla Firefox v3.07
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 was the standout in our tests, achieving a best-in-class 69% catch rate against Malware. It is clear that Microsoft is making an effort to provide security to their customers with IE8.
With a catch rate of 30%, Mozilla Firefox was a distant second to IE8, but commendable nevertheless.
Apple Safari achieved a respectable 24% catch rate, However, test results indicate operational delays in distributing protection filters, leaving Safari users unprotected for long periods of time.
Google Chrome’s protection was notably inconsistent. Initial protection was commendable, however as the test progressed, Chrome’s protection faded dramatically – bringing down the average catch rate to 16%. We were concerned that this was somehow an artifact of our test harness and spent extensive time manually verifying results. Our findings were that Chrome’s protection did indeed drop off significantly.
With a catch rate of 5%, Opera, provided virtually no protection against Malware.
With a 4% catch rate, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 provided practically no protection against malware.
So, can Mozilla really support claims of Firefox being the most secure Web Browser?
Take a look at the Firefox security page, and note the top three marketing claims that Mozilla asserts:
-The large-font title of “The Safest Web Browser”.
-The claim of “Firefox keeps your personal info personal and your online interests away from the bad guys.”
-“When Are You At Risk? An independent study shows that, in 2006, IE users were vulnerable to online threats 78 percent of the time.
These three items provide some nice discussion by Jeff Jones, on – Can Mozilla Support Claims of Firefox Being the Most Secure Web Browser?