A study released this week found what Web browser is most effective at blocking malicious software and websites that trick users into downloading malware?

A study released this week found what Web browser is most effective at blocking malicious software and websites that trick users into downloading malware?

by / August 17, 2011

Answer: Internet Explorer 9

Last spring NSS Labs, which has does security research and testing, tested five of the world's major Web browsers: Internet Explorer 9, Chrome 12, Firefox 4, Safari 5 and Opera 11.
 
As the chart above from NSS Labs shows, Internet Explorer caught an “exceptional” 99.2 percent of live threats, and NSS Labs credited Microsoft’s SmartScreen filter.

Google Chrome 12 caught 13.2 percent of live threats. In a similar test of malicious URLs conducted last year, Chrome caught only 3 percent of them.

NSS Labs’ full report can be downloaded for free here.

“Socially engineered malware (SEM) remains the most common security threat facing Internet users today,” according to the NSS Labs findings. “Recent studies show that users are four times more likely to be tricked into downloading malware than be compromised by an exploit.”

“Ultimately, the results reveal great variations in the abilities of the browsers to protect against socially-engineered malware.”

NSS Labs said it received no funding from vendors for the study.

Because the study was conducted months ago, the newest Web browser releases, such as Chrome 13 and Firefox 6, weren’t tested.

Matt Williams Associate Editor