Internet Explorer Dominates in Malware Blocking Tests


According to an analysis conducted by NSS Labs, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 were ranked at the top when compared to other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, when it comes to blocking social engineering attacks.

“Socially Engineered Malware remains the most common security threat facing Internet users today and European users have found themselves particular targets of malware authors over the last 12 months. According to the EU’s statistics office, Eurostat, almost one third of internet users in the European Union were victims of malware infections in 2010 despite the majority having security software installed,” NSS Labs reported.

Browser Results Graph

Internet Explorer 9 was responsible for blocking 92% of all malware using built in URL based filters. Internet Explorer 9 was also determined to block 100% of malware using its application filter.

Internet Explorer 8, on the other hand, took second place in the analysis. IE8 was able to clock 90% of malware.

Google’s Chrome browser, Apple’s Safari 5, and Mozilla’s Firefox 4 were all ranked third due to all three browsers using Google’s Safe Browsing system. These three browsers were able to block a mere 13% of malware. Opera scored the worst with a 5% blocking rate, possibly because they use a URL blocking service by antivirus maker, AVG.

“The significance of Microsoft’s new application reputation technology cannot be overstated. Application Reputation is the first attempt by any vendor to create a definitive list of every application on the Internet. Browsers provide a layer of protection against socially-engineered malware, in addition to endpoint protection products; as this report shows, not all are created equal. The overall lower protection offered by Firefox, Safari, and Chrome is concerning,” NSS Labs stated.

Download the full report here (PDF).