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Report: IE10 Most Secure Windows 8 Browser

By - Source: NSS Labs | B 28 comments

NSS Labs has released a new edition of its security report that evaluates a browser's ability to block socially engineered malware.

The results reflect the ranking of the previously released report in August of 2011 and found Internet Explorer (version 10) to be the safest browser in this discipline under Windows 8. NSS Labs said that IE10 blocked 99.1 percent of the malware it was exposed to (virtually dead-even with the 99.2 percent result from August of last year), but Chrome improved its 13.2 percent result to 70.4 percent due to the integration of enhanced file-based reputation screening.

IE's reputation blocking accounted for 10.6 percent of IE's malware blocking, up from 3.2 percent last year. Firefox fell from 7.6 percent to 4.2 percent and is now listed behind Safari which dropped from 7.6 percent to 4.3 percent. Opera was not included in the review this year.

"Web browsers are the first line of defense for consumers and enterprises alike as they can prevent malware from reaching the operating system," said Randy Abrams, research director at NSS Labs.

"Windows 8 users should pay attention to the effects on security their choice of browser makes. A few milliseconds faster web page rendering will not compensate for the time spent recovering from malware infections, so security must be a high consideration when selecting a web browser."

NSS Labs said that the evaluation was not sponsored and was based on 91,000 test cases conducted in September 2012.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 26, 2012 4:04 AM
    NeverdynePretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.


    These days even the best protection is almost useless. The thing is that even safe webites have a chance since all the ads tend to come from the same area.

    As for speed, IE and Chrome are within milliseconds of loading pages. Its like saying a GPU that plays a game at 61FPS is fastert than a GPU doing the same at 60FPS, not noticeable enough.

    Overall I like how MS is pushing to keep IE safe and integrating ore saftey features by default (such as the do not track) as it helps those who are not as internet savvy.
  • 12 Hide
    joytech22 , October 26, 2012 3:23 AM
    NeverdynePretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.


    IE is already pretty fast, loading time differences between browsers on a good connection aren't really noticeable.

    What gets me is the features the browsers provide. That's what attracts me.
    If we compared by speed, Opera would probably win.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    Neverdyne , October 26, 2012 3:11 AM
    Pretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    joytech22 , October 26, 2012 3:23 AM
    NeverdynePretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.


    IE is already pretty fast, loading time differences between browsers on a good connection aren't really noticeable.

    What gets me is the features the browsers provide. That's what attracts me.
    If we compared by speed, Opera would probably win.
  • -4 Hide
    azraa , October 26, 2012 3:24 AM
    NeverdynePretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.


    If they dont mind getting a more intrusive and, overall, slower browser, then I think its fine.
    I've lost count of the number of PCs filled with bloatware and spam from unexperienced clients I've had to repair/optimize, so I think its the right choice. Windows 8 is an OS planned for the consumer anyway, power users and gamers probably dont receive very well all this... noobish(?) stuff W8 comes with
  • 5 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 26, 2012 3:25 AM
    The report is about browsers filtering/blocking reportedly malicious web sites and downloads. Quote:
    Quote:
    That means nineteen out of twenty socially engineered malware attacks against Firefox and Safari users will end up testing the user’s antivirus and/or operating system defenses.

    Apparently their idea of "security" is web filtering, built into the browser itself, to make up for deficiencies in an anti-virus product or the OS. I'd rather train the users better and use a separate security product or filtering proxy service.
  • -7 Hide
    Burodsx , October 26, 2012 3:36 AM
    I might use IE if they paid me to use it...
  • 5 Hide
    reprotected , October 26, 2012 3:54 AM
    I don't really consider blocking websites and downloads based on a blacklist makes a browser more secure. Less vulnerability against zero-day browser exploits and the such should be the true benchmark.
  • 12 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 26, 2012 4:04 AM
    NeverdynePretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.


    These days even the best protection is almost useless. The thing is that even safe webites have a chance since all the ads tend to come from the same area.

    As for speed, IE and Chrome are within milliseconds of loading pages. Its like saying a GPU that plays a game at 61FPS is fastert than a GPU doing the same at 60FPS, not noticeable enough.

    Overall I like how MS is pushing to keep IE safe and integrating ore saftey features by default (such as the do not track) as it helps those who are not as internet savvy.
  • -9 Hide
    livebriand , October 26, 2012 4:20 AM
    jimmysmittyThese days even the best protection is almost useless. The thing is that even safe webites have a chance since all the ads tend to come from the same area.As for speed, IE and Chrome are within milliseconds of loading pages. Its like saying a GPU that plays a game at 61FPS is fastert than a GPU doing the same at 60FPS, not noticeable enough.Overall I like how MS is pushing to keep IE safe and integrating ore saftey features by default (such as the do not track) as it helps those who are not as internet savvy.

    Chrome is still a bit more responsive than IE. Firefox, meanwhile, is absolutely terrible in comparison.
  • 2 Hide
    blppt , October 26, 2012 4:51 AM
    It probably doesnt mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but on the RTM Win8/IE10 system I ran it on, IE10 was the fastest at Sunspider 0.9.1, dipping into double digits for the first time I've ever seen---IIRC, it finished in like 85ms on my i7-3770K. Nothing else came close, not FF16, not Chrome (latest).
  • -4 Hide
    blppt , October 26, 2012 4:51 AM
    It probably doesnt mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but on the RTM Win8/IE10 system I ran it on, IE10 was the fastest at Sunspider 0.9.1, dipping into double digits for the first time I've ever seen---IIRC, it finished in like 85ms on my i7-3770K. Nothing else came close, not FF16, not Chrome (latest).
  • -1 Hide
    Uberragen21 , October 26, 2012 5:03 AM
    joytech22IE is already pretty fast, loading time differences between browsers on a good connection aren't really noticeable.What gets me is the features the browsers provide. That's what attracts me.If we compared by speed, Opera would probably win.

    It's a world of difference between IE 8 and Chrome. I mean, the Dark Ages vs. Star Trek difference. For those who still use Win XP, like many businesses still do, there is no option for IE 9 or IE 10. Chrome on the other hand is 1000x better than IE 8 in both speed and protection against malware.
  • 1 Hide
    wheredahoodat , October 26, 2012 5:10 AM
    I don't believe it, with every NSS labs "study" I sometimes load up my virtual machine to see if IE was as good as they say. It isn't, more like 60-ish percent or lower with the my small sample of malware links on any given day. It is still a lot better than very undependable Google Safe browsing api that Chrome, Firefox and Safari uses, but it is absurd that they claim 99.1 percent of malware samples.

    Also in terms of zero day browser exploits windows, IE is the worst according to Krebs security "If we count just the critical zero-days, there were at least 89 non-overlapping days (about three months) between the beginning of 2011 and Sept. 2012 in which IE zero-day vulnerabilities were actively being exploited."
  • 1 Hide
    assasin32 , October 26, 2012 7:09 AM
    I still prefer Chrome and getting people to switch to that instead of using IE or Firefox now days. Very simple reason why I do dispite them all have good security. Chrome forces auto updates to you, you are pretty much guaranteed to be using the latest version of Chrome if you are using it doesn't matter if it is your computer or your friends it is up to date. Can't say the same for IE or Firefox and an up to date browser is more secure than an out of date one.
  • 4 Hide
    mayne92 , October 26, 2012 9:41 AM
    I honestly use whatever browser I want that offers better performance and usability. As for browser security 99.999999% of that is controlled by what is between the ears; don't have a good one of those then I suppose security is more of a problem then huh?
  • -1 Hide
    Cryio , October 26, 2012 9:56 AM
    NeverdynePretty impressive, if they only made IE as responsive and fast as Chrome I would consider switching, but as it stands for "experienced" users like I who spend more time than the recommended daily dose on the internet, we probably know how to protect ourselves fairly well already; though I can see how this could add value for the average consumer. The people who don't know when to pull out of a dangerous website should get protection strapped to them I guess.


    Dude, have you tried IE10 on Windows 8 x64? That this IS the fastest browser yet on my PC and laptop. Personally I'm an Opera and Maxthon fan, but this time, IE10 took the lead. About the smoothness, you can feel it's there, is just not that smooth yet. Nothing a few updates can't solve though.
  • 1 Hide
    Cryio , October 26, 2012 10:02 AM
    Firefox 16 is dead last on smoothness. The UI still hangs, for Christ's Sake. Them Chrome for my. The missing "smooth scrolling" is almost a show-stopper for me. And the flag for it is crap. Then I would say Opera 12.10 (not the terrible, stable current brach 12.02), and finally IE10.

    About security...yeah, for quite some time, Microsoft has been pushing IE (since v9) for it's security.
  • -2 Hide
    alidan , October 26, 2012 10:10 AM
    joytech22IE is already pretty fast, loading time differences between browsers on a good connection aren't really noticeable.What gets me is the features the browsers provide. That's what attracts me.If we compared by speed, Opera would probably win.


    its more about how you use the browser, than how responsive it is.

    i open several hundred tabs in firefox, and no other browser can handled that.
    moveing from 3 to i believe nightly 8 was a HUGE step, moving from 8 to waterfox 10 was another gigantic impreovemnet, and now im considering the move from 10 to 15

    under normal use, all the browsers are about the same, its when you take it to an extreme that you see a difference.
  • 2 Hide
    soundping , October 26, 2012 12:40 PM
    IE is what you use to download something better. ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    aznjoka , October 26, 2012 1:24 PM
    Chrome is Overrated. Opera is where it's at.
  • 1 Hide
    p05esto , October 26, 2012 1:33 PM
    I've always used and liked IE. IE9 is pretty good, very fast, has nice developer tools and a better UI than the others. I don't like those stripped down UIs that don't even give you a home button without 15 minutes of customizing. Stupid. IMO
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