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.