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IE Easily Beats Chrome, Firefox Security, Says Microsoft

By - Source: Microsoft | B 40 comments

Microsoft has launched a new marketing campaign promoting its web browser.

Just like the TV campaign, the focus is once again security and is at least partially based on the results recently published by security company NSS Labs. This time, the campaign appears to be on the Internet and enables users to instantly test the security of their browser and get a dose of reality just how secure or vulnerable the software is. Before you run the test, let me advise you that, unless you use IE9 or IE10, you won't like what you see.

Only IE scores a full score of 4 possible points. The current version of Chrome (14) ends up at 2.5 and Firefox (7) at 2. If you are still using Firefox 3.6, you get only 1.5. The breakdown, according to the website is that both Chrome and Firefox do not protect users against dangerous downloads. However, Microsoft's criteria are limited to socially engineered malware (which refers to the test conducted by NSS Labs) and "distinct" download warnings against apps that are not yet confirmed as malware.

According to Microsoft, Chrome and Firefox are just as good in phishing protection as IE and Chrome even trumps IE in two out of seven criteria describing browser attacks (while Chrome also two other disciplines against IE). Firefox is the worst browser in direct attack vulnerability, according to Microsoft. Both Chrome and Firefox lose against IE in website attack protection.

Of course, one may argue that rating a browser's security on 16 hand-picked features may be problematic. It may be difficult to build a case on those claims, especially if IE has only three gaps while Chrome comes in with seven misses and Firefox 7 with nine. Could Mozilla have picked 16 categories that would have made IE look bad? Sure. Could Google have slanted the criteria to its faster update cycle? Of course. On the fairness side, Microsoft does offer download links to all three browsers.

Check out Microsoft's latest effort here.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    dogman_1234 , October 11, 2011 7:15 PM
    According to Microsoft, by Microsoft, for Microsoft.
  • 14 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 11, 2011 7:22 PM
    NetherscourgeAll three browsers are becoming so homogeneous with each other, can you honestly tell a difference anymore?All three browsers have exploits. Therefore, all three browsers fail.PICK YOUR POISON.

    I can tell a difference because some browsers won't render certain pages correctly, while others do...

    It has become a browser caruselle.
  • 12 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , October 11, 2011 7:48 PM
    Looks like another example of a company selecting benchmarks/tests that show their own product as being the best. We also see it happening with synthetic benchmarks.
Other Comments
    Display all 40 comments.
  • 25 Hide
    dogman_1234 , October 11, 2011 7:15 PM
    According to Microsoft, by Microsoft, for Microsoft.
  • 14 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 11, 2011 7:22 PM
    NetherscourgeAll three browsers are becoming so homogeneous with each other, can you honestly tell a difference anymore?All three browsers have exploits. Therefore, all three browsers fail.PICK YOUR POISON.

    I can tell a difference because some browsers won't render certain pages correctly, while others do...

    It has become a browser caruselle.
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2011 7:23 PM
    complete lawwlll...
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2011 7:25 PM
    Microsoft, protecting idiots from themselves, next version of windows will come with free a bubble wrap coat........
  • 12 Hide
    cknobman , October 11, 2011 7:35 PM
    BubbleWrapMeMicrosoft, protecting idiots from themselves, next version of windows will come with free a bubble wrap coat........


    Your name is self explanatory then.
  • 11 Hide
    rottingsheep , October 11, 2011 7:42 PM
    knowledge=security
  • 2 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , October 11, 2011 7:43 PM
    cknobmanYour name is self explanatory then.

    Given that is his first and only post, I say troll

    Anyways, I don't care about browsers so much. I use FF, have for a while, since I'm too lazy to change it and have little reason to do so, I don't care.
  • 12 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , October 11, 2011 7:48 PM
    Looks like another example of a company selecting benchmarks/tests that show their own product as being the best. We also see it happening with synthetic benchmarks.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2011 7:59 PM
    The world seems to have forgotten opera's existence. never see it grouped with ff ie and chrome anymore. damn shame because its a great browser and looks beautifully in windows 7 with a few tweaks.
  • 1 Hide
    dextermat , October 11, 2011 8:00 PM
    I agree that IE9 is a good improvement over IE 8 but, for the rest it's like comparing apple and bananas.

    Firefox with security add-on is simply the best secure web browser.
    The problem with IE is that at some point hacker will find zero hour exploits and won't be fix for a while.

    But if you want speed I think Chrome does a bit better
  • 2 Hide
    Athlon76 , October 11, 2011 8:01 PM
    Internet Explorer is THE WORST BROWSER hands down.
    Most people are oblivious to IE's lack of proper CSS, HTML and Mime-Type handling and standards in general. Front & Backend developers will all tell you what a pain IE is to work with. The ONLY reason we have to make it work is because people who are computer illiterate don't know other browsers exist and think IE IS the internet. I wish it would go away.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2011 8:29 PM
    @cknobman

    if a user needs to be told not to click that download then they really shouldn't be on the net.......
  • -2 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , October 11, 2011 8:29 PM
    Yeah, 4.0 out of 10.0 is more like it, for the half-advanced user anyways.

    You see, the primary infection vector on any machine is, of course, the user. The user just doesn't get it- they are insecure (in both applications of the word), and so they need idiot protection.
    So perhaps it's a good thing that IE9 is at least twice as secure as the users.

    Besides- those users will download every browser they see out there (here's looking at you, Safari) just because.

    You see, people like us are smart enough that these "ratings" become irrelevant. Users that use different browsers and don't believe we're the millionth visitor to this page.

    For example, Firefox (3.6 and beyond), with Adblock Plus (no flash ads to tell us we've won something) and NoScript (to ensure that, even in dangerous sites, that things aren't going to be stealth-downloaded), will be faster than any other browser out there. Why? Because loading ads and scripts always slows the browser down- no matter which one it is.
    (It's interesting to note that this little fact is not in benchmark runs.)

    Can and do we totally ignore safety and security? Of course not. We just don't need to do as much since those best practices are already in use and ingrained in our memories.


    So while I don't agree with arbitrary, semi-fake benchmarks from the companies that make the software, the reality isn't all bad.
  • 2 Hide
    billybobser , October 11, 2011 8:39 PM
    with regard to lucky duck, I wonder how adblock + noscript firefox compares to the others?

    The ease of adding extra's to firefox to tailor your browser to your needs means it wins.

    I have not much experience with chrome, but it would be retarded of google to have an adblocker to block it's main revenue stream.
  • 1 Hide
    kikireeki , October 11, 2011 8:48 PM
    "IE Easily Beats Chrome, Firefox Security, Says Microsoft"
    Yeah whatever!
  • 0 Hide
    dgingeri , October 11, 2011 8:51 PM
    Funniest thing is this: I'm stuck with IE7 on my company machine, and using that browser, I get a 1 rating.
  • 8 Hide
    Branden , October 11, 2011 8:54 PM
    don't forget these unrelated news headlines:

    "Chrome easily beats IE and FF security, says Google"
    "FF easily beats IE and Chrome security, says Mozilla"
    "GM better than Ford, says GM"
    "Ford better than GM, says Ford"
    "Pakistan sucks, says India"
    "India sucks, says Pakistan"
  • 6 Hide
    alandjackson , October 11, 2011 9:21 PM
    I'm not worried about a browser protecting me from downloads, I'm worried about getting infected by just going to a site.

    With that said, the main way I measure security is by which browsers fall in the pwn2own competitions.
  • -2 Hide
    sykozis , October 11, 2011 9:27 PM
    jacobdrjI can tell a difference because some browsers won't render certain pages correctly, while others do...It has become a browser caruselle.

    Like FF7 and IE9 having issues logging into Toms? When I click "sign in" it takes me to the page to register a new account.

    DarkitThe world seems to have forgotten opera's existence. never see it grouped with ff ie and chrome anymore. damn shame because its a great browser and looks beautifully in windows 7 with a few tweaks.

    Most of the world never knew Opera existed. The last I heard of Opera, they still hadn't managed to break 1% market share.

    NetherscourgeAll three browsers are becoming so homogeneous with each other, can you honestly tell a difference anymore?All three browsers have exploits. Therefore, all three browsers fail.PICK YOUR POISON.

    All 3 have stupid users as well, so built in security really makes litle difference.
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