15 Jul 2011

Internet Explorer 9 wins malware test despite waning popularity

A recent test of major internet browsers undertaken by research firm NSS Labs found Internet Explorer 9 is highly effective at blocking socially engineered malware.

NSS performed its test using hundreds of malicious websites known to have targeted European internet users in April 2011.

IE 9 had an effectiveness rate of 100 percent in detecting malicious websites, thanks to a two-fold defense system composed of cloud-based URL Reputation and Application Reputation components. URL Reputation blocks sites known to be distributing malware, while Application Reputation detects malicious web applications. URL Reputation alone caught 92 percent of malicious sites, and IE 9 caught 100 percent of malicious sites with the addition of Application Reputation.

The next-highest scoring browsers, Apple's Safari 5, Google's Chrome 10, and Mozilla's Firefox 4, all had a mean block rate of only 13 percent. Opera 11 caught only a mean 5 percent of malicious sites.

In May 2011, Computerworld reported Internet Explorer's market share had dropped to its lowest level ever, at 55.1 percent of all users.