Microsoft’s latest security report reveals 340 million PCs use an out-of-date browser

By Tom Warren, on 11th Oct 11 10:31 am with 15 Comments

Microsoft revealed on Tuesday that around 340 million PCs worldwide use an outdated version of their browser software.

The statistic equates to around 24% of all browsers running old code. Microsoft chose to highlight the issue in a blog post on Tuesday, noting that a large number of attacks are directly linked to the use of an out-of-date browser. Internet Explorer 6 and 7 account for 15.2% of all out of date browsers. Google’s Chrome browser, which uses automatic updates to push users onto new versions, accounts for just 1.7% of all old browser versions.

Microsoft is launching YourBrowserMatters.org on Tuesday to highlight the risk of socially engineered malware in old browsers. Microsoft has been working with the Anti-Phishing League, Identity Theft Council, and Online Trust Alliance, to raise awareness of the issues around using an old browser. “YourBrowserMatters.org is a resource for anyone who wants to improve their online security and increase their protection from socially engineered malware threats like phishing attacks,” said Microsoft’s director of Internet Explorer marketing, Roger Capriotti in a blog post on Tuesday. “These attacks are particularly nefarious because they manipulate people into taking actions, such as downloading software that may harm them or their PC by corrupting their computer with a virus, collecting confidential information, or stealing files.”

YourBrowserMatters.org serves as a portal for end users to test their browser security. Microsoft will rank each browser from 0-4 on a scale system. The ranking system uses data from various third parties to asses the important aspects of browser security. The site will also encourage users to upgrade to the latest version of their browser. “We hope they choose IE9 because among other things, it blocks more malware than any other browser out there,” said Capriotti. “The bottom line is we simply want people to protect themselves by knowing that a modern browser is the first line of defense online.”

Browser security

  • http://www.tomasmcguinness.com Tomas McGuinness

    It seems the link to http://www.yourbrowsermatters.org is broken, so I assume the site hasn’t been launched yet? Is the Tuesday you mention, today?

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Yes it’s launching today, seems they are a little behind… :)

  • http://bhost.no-ip.org/ Blackhawk

    The website seems to be online for me now. To be honest, I’m not even surprised. Many articles have been published about this. Hope those who use old browsers will find this website and get their browsers updated. But hey, the website is in HTML5. Old browsers don’t support HTML5 do they? :P

    Update: The website is offline again :)

  • Mike Baker

    Ah the Anti-Trust regulators have left the building and Microsoft starts up with the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt crap again.

    • Frylockns86

      Really? You call this FUD? Okay, tell you what. I’ll give you $5 if you go and browse the web using an outdated browser of your choosing, though, it has to be at least IE6, or Firefox 3.5, and let’s see if you don’t get infected.

      IE6 especially on Windows XP was particularly devastating. Even with me being a techie, it scared the crap out of me each time I used it. 

    • MyNameHere

      Fear? Maybe, you should be scared of running an outdated browser.

      Uncertainty? Can’t see where you get this. They clearly state that if you are using IE 6/7, you are at risk. There is no uncertainty about that.

      Doubt? Do you doubt that older browsers are putting you at risk?

      I guess one out of three isn’t so bad.

    • Guest

      Yeah, because none of those competitors have ever used the “insecure” card against IE. Payback’s a bitch.

  • Anonymous

    The website works for me. Looks cool.

  • Notgareth

    It is up now, I tested the 3 browsers I use regularly - IE9 scored 4/4, Chrome 14 scored 2.5/4 and it couldn’t give me a score on Opera 11.51. Not sure what to make of that.

  • Anonymous

    I’d be more impressed with this site if it wasn’t laden with Flash movies. Bad form, Microsoft. -1

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Not all browsers support HTML5 yet.  The player is flash but the videos are mp4.  They can’t alienate the hundreds of millions of people with older browsers.

      At least they’re using SWFOBJECT.

    • Anonymous

      But my browser does support HTML5, and my mobile device doesn’t support Flash, so site looks like a bit empty. At least they could’ve done some user agent checking and presented based on my browser’s actual capabilities. That’s all I’m saying. :)

  • Guest

    It would also be nice if IE9 was any good in terms of HTML support. It is just way too broken to switch to it. To many CSS, JavaScript and other problems. It takes little time to make a site that works in Firefox and Chrome and then it takes forever to make it working with IE9… So when Microsoft says switch away from IE6/7 then what is the alternative? IE8 was better in terms of compatibility, but then just killed it…

  • http://www.andrewseymour.co.uk/ Andrew Seymour

    It’s amazing just how many people are criticising IE9 when in fact, it’s exactly the right direction for the future of the web. I can’t believe just how many people still have an out of date browser.

  • FunkTrooper

    >Map of ‘UK’
    >Implying Ireland is part of the UK