Microsoft revealed on Tuesday that its Internet Explorer 8 and 9 SmartScreen protection blocks between 2 and 5 million daily malware attacks.
The software giant revealed the figures in a blog post on Tuesday. Microsoft has found that 1 out of every 14 programs downloaded is later confirmed as malware. Microsoft’s SmartScreen technology has blocked more than 1.5 billion attempted malware attacks according to Microsoft. “IE is still the only major production browser to offer this kind of protection from socially engineered malware,” said Jeb Haber from Microsoft’s SmartScreen team. “Our goal is to establish a reputation for the publisher of every program on the Web so that consumers can have a safer and easier experience downloading them.”
Microsoft explains that Internet Explorer 9 has built on the secure foundation of the company’s SmartScreen filtering software. Microsoft added Application Reputation to Internet Explorer 9. Application Reputation that helps protect users from undetected malware masquerading as legitimate executable downloads, while also removing unnecessary warnings when a download has an established reputation. Microsoft claims the feature leads to a dramatic reduction in malware infections for Internet Explorer 9 users:
- Users are choosing to delete or not run malware 95% of the time from the new Application Reputation warnings
- Application Reputation will prevent more than 20 Million additional infections per month (on top of existing SmartScreen URL reputation blocks)
- Because programs and publishers can now establish a reputation, 90% of program downloads no longer show browser security warnings when users have SmartScreen enabled
- More importantly, with the streamlined experience, the typical user will only see 2 warnings per year
- On any given day, clicking through the “unknown warning” carries a risk between 25% and 70% of malware infection.
Microsoft revealed in March that users have downloaded 36 million copies of Internet Explorer 9 since its beta release in September. The software maker launched its final development milestone version of Internet Explorer 9 on February 10. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 includes an enhanced UI, HTML5 support, hardware accelerated browsing and some great security improvements. Microsoft has included Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer 9. The new privacy feature allows consumers to address their concerns about being tracked on the web. Internet Explorer 9 offers users a new opt-in mechanism to identify and block many forms of undesired tracking such as cookies, web beacons, advertisements and trackers. Tracking protection involves lists that can be published online. Microsoft’s second security enhancement is the ability to block ActiveX controls. Internet Explorer 9 includes an “ActiveX filter” option. The filter allows users to switch off ActiveX elements within their session, furthering Microsoft’s commitment to security within its browser.
Microsoft’s latest browser includes some great improvements for end users too. Improved tabbing, pinning and HTML5 support will make the web more beautiful claims Microsoft. The software giant has partnered with some big names to show off just what Internet Explorer 9 is capable off and it’s likely that hundreds more will follow in the coming months. Microsoft isn’t stopping at Internet Explorer 9 though. The company plans to bring its improvements to the mobile space. Windows Phone 7 will include a mobile version of IE9 later this year. The company will also ship regular Platform Previews to keep developers ready for the next versions of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 9 is just the start.