Internet Explorer 9 trounces rival browsers in malware tests

By Tom Warren, on 15th Aug 11 4:23 pm with 49 Comments

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 browser has come out top in a recent social engineering malware test.

NSS Labs, an independent security research and testing organization, found that Internet Explorer 9 blocks up to seven times more malware than other browsers. Internet Explorer 9 with SmartScreen URL reputation caught 96% of live malware threats compared to second placed Google Chrome 12 with 13.2%. NSS Labs broke down its tests into regions and found that 95% of threats in Asia were defeated by Internet Explorer 9, compared to 92% in Europe. Globally 96% of threats were defeated.

“We continue to improve the quality and protection SmartScreen technology offers to our Internet Explorer users,” said Microsoft’s Internet Explorer product marketing director, Roger Capriotti, in a blog post on Monday. “You can see these improvements in how much faster SmartScreen is in blocking malware over time.”

Opera 11 came bottom of the pile with just 6.1% of threats detected whilst Firefox 4 and Safari 5 both detected 7.6% of threats. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 previously fared well in NSS’ December tests, catching 90.2% of all live threats. Socially engineered malware is one of the more common threats that users face inside modern browsers. “Users are 4 times more likely to come into contact with social engineering tactics as opposed to a site serving an exploit,” said Bruce Hughes from AVG technologies.

NSS Labs, August 2011 – Global Socially Engineered Malware Protection

  • Anonymous

    Suck on that haters!

  • Anonymous

    Suck on that haters!

    • Frylockns86

      [Sarcastic tone]

      But no one uses IE9 because it doesn’t run on Windows XP. So this all means nothing!

      [/Sarcastic tone]

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Hahaha.  Those people would be right, except this study has nothing to do with browser population. 

    • Anonymous

      Hahaha.  Those people would be right, except this study has nothing to do with browser population. 

    • Anonymous

      Hahaha.  Those people would be right, except this study has nothing to do with browser population. 

  • Anonymous

    Suck on that haters!

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    …And now waiting for the goones to start refuting the evidence, and bashing the company that dare trounce their beloved Chrome browser.

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    …And now waiting for the goones to start refuting the evidence, and bashing the company that dare trounce their beloved Chrome browser.

  • Anonymous

    Socially engineered malwares are the biggest threat these days.  I laugh at Chrome and FF fanboys who think their browsers are more secure.

    • Jinge

      I have been using Opera, IE and chrome (and firefox long time ago, but chrome replaced it) for quite a long time now, and I have never had any malware… maybe the browser doesn’t change so much, the behavior of the user is the real problem… 

    • Anonymous

      Test1ngi23 ?

    • Anonymous

      The user is to blame for 99% of the browser virusses. Clicking “yes” on unknown popups is the biggest one…

      Browsers attempt to block most of these, but users still have to think for themselves!

  • Anonymous

    Socially engineered malwares are the biggest threat these days.  I laugh at Chrome and FF fanboys who think their browsers are more secure.

  • Anonymous

    Socially engineered malwares are the biggest threat these days.  I laugh at Chrome and FF fanboys who think their browsers are more secure.

  • Patrykvdmeulen

    this is great! ie9 is the best!

  • Patrykvdmeulen

    this is great! ie9 is the best!

    • Jinge

      Why? :p

    • Anonymous

      Full hardware acceleration

    • Jinge

      True.
      Hope they keep on innovating, because the others are not waiting…But on my opinion there is no much differences between browsers, IE has fixed the main reason why i didn’t like it: waiting 1 or 2 seconds when you open a new tab!
      If the notification on the task bar feature was working well I would appreciate too, because I have the hotmail shortcut, but never had any notification.
      And they miss a default shortcut: ctrl+shift+n/t for private browsing like all others!
      After it is now a great browser, I must admit ;) the best, I wouldn’t say that, they all have their point!
      Opera is great too with features like Unity and profile synchronization, search shortcuts, … Chrome is quite fast, but like IE, I don’t like the process separation stuff, you cannot know easily how much memory/processor is used by it.
      Firefox I left it, it used too much memory and I don’t use extensions!
      They all have good and bad things… 

    • Jinge

      True.
      Hope they keep on innovating, because the others are not waiting…But on my opinion there is no much differences between browsers, IE has fixed the main reason why i didn’t like it: waiting 1 or 2 seconds when you open a new tab!
      If the notification on the task bar feature was working well I would appreciate too, because I have the hotmail shortcut, but never had any notification.
      And they miss a default shortcut: ctrl+shift+n/t for private browsing like all others!
      After it is now a great browser, I must admit ;) the best, I wouldn’t say that, they all have their point!
      Opera is great too with features like Unity and profile synchronization, search shortcuts, … Chrome is quite fast, but like IE, I don’t like the process separation stuff, you cannot know easily how much memory/processor is used by it.
      Firefox I left it, it used too much memory and I don’t use extensions!
      They all have good and bad things… 

    • Hernan Lozano

      The notification for hotmail thing only really works if you’re using your taskbar with the default fat icons.
      if you checked “use small icons” the notification doesn’t fit.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    fast and secure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

    Well, I guess goog fans will say that’s cool to be hacked.

  • Anonymous

    Wow look at that gap!!! is this for real?

    • Matthewmsft

      yes. the most popular things normally do the best on these kinds of tests because they have the most usage statistics (think Google has more search info to refine it’s algorithms than Bing)

    • Matthewmsft

      yes. the most popular things normally do the best on these kinds of tests because they have the most usage statistics (think Google has more search info to refine it’s algorithms than Bing)

  • Frylockns86

    It seems Firefox is the least secure. Ed Bott recently evaluated the security of Chrome, Firefox, and IE9… Firefox came out on the bottom. :(

    • Anonymous

      To be honest, Firefox is secure if the user pays attention to whats on his screen. With the right addons the security of Firefox is increased greatly. Add blockers, ….

  • Benjy91

    Id be tempted to use IE9 if the Bookmarks bar wasnt so ugly

    • Matthewmsft

      i never use the Bookmarks…the new OneBar thingy makes it so that i can do all the bookmarks and stuff thru the URL bar

    • Matthewmsft

      i never use the Bookmarks…the new OneBar thingy makes it so that i can do all the bookmarks and stuff thru the URL bar

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pedro-Roque/100000194503830 Pedro Roque

      Really? The bookmark bar? And I’m sure you still use the Google Bar? Or is it the Bing Bar?

  • Matthewmsft

    *sigh* i’ve stopped trying to convert fanboys…you just can’t do it. people like Chrome, and then they get a virus and come crying to me about how much Windows sucks. i just laugh and point them towards some free online scanners  if you’re using Chrome or Firefox or something and you won’t switch, then you *deserve* to get a virus.

    • Gornot

      Completely agree… And the worst part is that most of my friends, when they hear about IE, immediately think of the same viruses and malware that IE blocks so well…

  • Grannyville7989

    I find a lot of people on my computer science degree course still snark at Internet Explorer. It has seem to become the in thing to do now, despite the improvements. But the fact that IE9 has blocked a majority of the malware is the reason why I’ll still recommend IE to people like my mum.

  • Grannyville7989

    I find a lot of people on my computer science degree course still snark at Internet Explorer. It has seem to become the in thing to do now, despite the improvements. But the fact that IE9 has blocked a majority of the malware is the reason why I’ll still recommend IE to people like my mum.

  • Anonymous

    I just windows would get more extensions. That’s the main feature I like about chrome. Otherwise, IE9 has worked great for me.

  • Anonymous

    I just windows would get more extensions. That’s the main feature I like about chrome. Otherwise, IE9 has worked great for me.

  • Anonymous

    I just windows would get more extensions. That’s the main feature I like about chrome. Otherwise, IE9 has worked great for me.

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

    For me, that i am keeping count. That is 3 studies saying that IE9 kicks ass on Malware Prevention. The first two we desistimated becuase one was the Microsoft internal one and the other was partly sponsored by Microsoft. This looks to be the first fully independent one. It stating the very same results validates the other two previous studies. Good stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Good to hear, as it’s my main browser now.

    That being said, I currently have Chrome and FF open to for various reasons.  Browser wars are childish.

  • Mattledding

    Can you still get windows hacked through a true type font, the icon tray, and the printer spool, or is that fixed yet… until it is, I think linux with any of the losers of the competition is safer.

  • Mattledding

    Can you still get windows hacked through a true type font, the icon tray, and the printer spool, or is that fixed yet… until it is, I think linux with any of the losers of the competition is safer.

  • Senina chung

    There are reasons why IE still takes up almost half of the market share. This
    must be one of them.
    I still like using IE or IE based browsers like maxthon Avant browser.
    although some said that they take more Memory than other browsers, but it’s ok
    since I have 8G Memory.

  • smith
  • Anonymous

    This wouldn’t really be needed if Windows was an inherently more secure platform. I’m glad Microsoft is working on it though.