This may come as somewhat of a shock to many readers who rely on FireFox, Opera and Chrome for their browsing duties. Recent research shows that Internet Explorer 9 is the best at blocking malware.
Internet Explorer has always been the butt of jokes among certain circles in the enthusiast community however the latest version, according to a report is the best browser for blocking malware. Ars Technica reported on the news and they said:
“Internet Explorer’s SmartFilter URL scanner yielded substantially better results than the other browsers tested. The Application Reputation feature then picked up any malicious executables that the URL scanner didn’t trap. This shows the potential value of the Application Reputation feature; applications earn reputation by being downloaded regularly. An executable that nobody else has ever downloaded has no reputation at all, and so Internet Explorer 9 warns about the file. This means that its behavior is the reverse of the other filtering options in both Internet Explorer and other browsers: they default to permitting access to unknown URLs (as to do otherwise would break the majority of the Internet), only blocking locations that appear problematic. Application Reputation defaults to blocking.”
They do mention however the higher state of false positives saying that “Unsigned and unusual downloads generate a warning, even for harmless programs.”
Here are how the browsers stacked up in the NSS report:
- Internet Explorer 9: 92% malware blocked
- Internet Explorer 8: 90% malware blocked
- Safari/Chrome/Firefox 4: 13% malware blocked (all use Google’s Safe browsing system).
- Opera 11: just 5% of malware blocked (uses AVG service).
Kitguru says: Will this help the adoption rate? We would be interested to get the percentages of false positives within this test. Do you use IE9? let us know if you rate it highly.