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IE 8 is most secure browser? Really??


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#1 bwest0703

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:00 AM

Hello everyone, I came across some test results from NSSlabs that state IE 8 is a much more secure browser than Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. I am a student in the IT and Security field and am curious, if i'm reading this incorrectly, or if I'm possibly missing something. Why is there a general opinion that IE is much more vulnerable to malware than other browsers? Is it because IE 7 from 2009 test results performed so poorly?

2010 test results from NSS

http://nsslabs.com/test-reports/NSSLabs_Q1...erSEM_FINAL.pdf

2009 test results including IE8 and IE7

http://nsslabs.com/test-reports/NSS%20Labs...d%20Malware.pdf

Another question, NSS labs claims to be neutral in testing. Can anyone verify this?
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#2 bwest0703

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:24 AM

I just realized that this should of probably been posted in the web browser/email forum.


Newbie here, this by no means is proven facts. Honestly, it's more fact-finding. I was surprised at the results, and am learning, and just wanted to pass along the information and get some input on the results.
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#3 Eric RBA

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 11:22 AM

Although I won't question the validity of their study and findings (since I wasn't involved) I will however question the accuracy. I haven't known IE8 to be as safe and secure as they claim. I think 85% is a bit bloated, but that may depend on what exactly they were claiming it makes you safe against. For example, I have personally experienced Chrome's protection from sites that when tested in Firefox 3.6 and IE8 the same protection failed or was lacking.

I think the bottom line with regard to stuff like this though is that you CANNOT depend on a browser alone for protection. You have to be implementing a multi-layered protection that includes AV software, a firewall, anti-malware\spyware\adware programs, safe browsing habits, common sense and user education as to what threats are out there.

Thanks for the information though, it was an interesting read.
I would never ask a person to do something that I wouldn't do myself.

#4 bwest0703

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 11:37 AM

Thanks for the response Eric RBA, I was shocked at the findings myself. I have found that the general consensus when choosing a web browser was to steer clear of IE, period. This contradicts it entirely, and I was a bit confused.

And yes, just finished up my Intro to InfoSec class last semester, and in regards to PC security, a multi-layered approach is a must. I was at a point where I wanted to /wrists from the number of times that it was repeated. :flowers:

At least I know I learned one thing from the class. :thumbsup:


Edit: to remove unnecessary quote. ~ Animal
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#5 Romeo29

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 09:33 AM

NSS Labs is long known to publish vendor sponsored results. In 2009, they made a press release that they will no longer do sponsored testing, yet they did it for Microsoft.

According to this Microsoft paid NSS labs to bring the test results in its favor. These results cannot be trusted.

Unrelated to browsers test, but according to AVG, the NSS labs reports are questionable.

Edited by Romeo29, 04 May 2010 - 09:47 AM.


#6 bwest0703

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:24 PM

Thanks Romeo29!!! I was not aware that NSS Labs were sponsored on any of the tests. That would definitely explain the numbers.
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#7 chromebuster

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 12:21 AM

In some ways, I'd like to just kill Microsoft for letting their security issues get out of hand. I agree with folks over there who say that you should steer clear of IE. I do. I use Firefox whenever I can. Like for example, I know this was downright stupid of me, but I did it anyway. I went to a sight, and Firefox was basically screaming at me to click out, I had read reports of why it was being blocked by Firefox itself, yet I still went there and downloaded the resources I needed. There were evidently two trojans on the sight. Point of the story, they didn't touch me! What must have happened is that they were designed to mess with IE, not Firefox, as is the case with most infections these days. Even my friends looked at me like I was crazy.

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