Security: Internet Explorer is King of the Hill, According to NSS Labs

By | August 14, 2009

Security: Internet Explorer is King of the Hill, According to NSS LabsBack in March, NSS Labs has revealed shocking statistics which suggested that Internet Explorer 8 had best effectiveness results against malware.

As of today, Neowin reports that NSS Labs has yet again tested all web browsers to find out which one has best built-in protection against phishing.

Tested web browsers:

Safari 4
Chrome 2
Internet Explorer 8
Firefox 3
Opera 10 Beta

Average time to block phishing URLs
The following histogram shows how long it took the browsers under test to block the thread once it was introduced into the test cycle.
Average time to block phishing URLs


Security: Internet Explorer, King of the Hill, Says NSS Labs
Higher is better

As you can see, IE8 had best block rate against phishing, followed by Firefox 3, Opera 10 and Chrome 2. What about Safari 4? Well, yeah… Graph speaks for itself.

Download .pdf here (tests were made on July 20th, 2009).

With news spreading on Microsoft sponsored security reports, Rick Moy, president of NSS Labs noted to Ars Technica:
It was Microsoft’s online security engineering team (not marketing) that hired NSS Labs to do recurring benchmark testing so they could improve their services. Only once Microsoft’s security engineering team saw the results did it send the details over to the marketing department.


About (Author Profile)

Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

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  1. Jak jsou na tom webové prohlížeče s bezpečností? | August 28, 2009
  1. Tiago Sá says:

    Because security is all about protecting the people who don’t know what the address bar is for!

    Srsl… -_-

  2. Pallab says:

    You forgot to mention that their previous was a a horribly biased test conducted to favour MS

  3. Jan Wolter says:

    Wish you’d write accurate titles here.

    First, the report is not on “security” it is on “phishing protection” which is a only one of many aspects of security. You could hardly declare anyone “king of the hill” based on so narrow a result, and the report makes no attempt to.

    Second, the report doesn’t say IE won. It says the results show a statistical tie between IE and Mozilla. There is a 4% margin of error in the results so 83% is not a win over 80%.

    The most interesting fact here is that Mozilla is massively outperforming other browsers that are based on the same Google anit-phishing API. This suggests that some of the other browser builders, notably Apple, have somehow botched their anti-phishing support. It’s also interesting that one of the teams that has failed to fully exploit the Google API is Google’s Chrome team.

  4. lettlurt says:

    If you read the report:
    “Opera 10 Beta achieved an overall block rate of 54% during our extended testing. NOTE: It appeared that Opera experienced operational issues during the latter part of testing which dragged down Opera 10’s effectiveness. Prior to those issues, Opera 10 was comparable with Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.”

  5. Gabriela says:

    Why compare IE 8 (the latest version) with Firefox 3 (not the latest version) and not Firefox 3.5 (the latest version)?
    This looks AWFULLY biased to favour Microsoft!!!
    Be serious please!

  6. Jan Wolter says:

    The report says they tried Firefox 3.5, but it was working much worse than Firefox 3.0. They decided to assume that this was due to issues that would be resolved as Firefox 3.5 got more mature, and that Firefox 3.0 better represented the best Mozilla technology. Is that fair? I dunno, but it’s not obviously biased in Microsoft’s favor.