IE8 Found to Be Most Secure Browser, in Testing Sponsored by Microsoft

Is anyone surprised? If Chevrolet sponsors a test pitting itself against Toyota, do you really think the published results will feature Chevrolet getting smacked by Toyota? Homer Simpson test, please.


from gHacks

A web browsing security test that pitted Internet Explorer 8 against Firefox 3, Opera 10, Safari 4 and Google Chrome 4 came to the conclusion that Internet Explorer 8 is the most secure web browser, at least in the area that were tested by security research company NSS Labs. The report, which is available at the company’s website for download was sponsored by Microsoft’s online security engineering team and later send to marketing after the results have been published.

The test analyzed the web browser’s phishing protection. Both Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 (that is Firefox 3.0.11 and not Firefox 3.5) managed to score an average block rate of 83% and 80% during the 14 days of testing. Opera 10 managed to block 54%, Google Chrome 26% and Safari a whopping 2%.

The average phishing URL catch rate for browsers over the entire 14 day test period ranged from 2% for Safari 4 to 83% for Windows Internet Explorer 8. Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 were the most consistent in the high level of protection they offered. Statistically, Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 had a two-way tie for first, given the margin of error of 3.96%. Opera 10 beta came in third due to inconsistent protection during the test. Chrome 2 was consistent, albeit at a much lower rate of protection, and Safari offered minimal overall protection.

Is this really anything that an intelligent person should get worked up about? Phishing is only important if you are not careful, or are an idiot. So, perhaps the test should have stated that Internet Explorer 8 should be the preferred choice of idiots!

simp2006_HomerArmsCrossed_f This man uses IE8, should you?

3116440696_6dc0718af0 Internet Explorer 8, preferred by millions, with IQ levels averaging 80!


Many users will criticize the test because it has been sponsored by Microsoft. This alone should not be reason to dismiss the findings as inaccurate. There have however been accusations of manipulated reports by NSS Labs in the past which are for example mentioned in a blog post at the Opera website. Some of the points of criticism like mixing beta and final versions or limiting test urls to a very low number are also valid points in the new report.

Even critics have to admit on the other hand that Microsoft has made progress with Internet Explorer 8. The web browser might still not be as fast as the others but it is definitely a solid web browser which could be the most secure web browser when it comes to protecting users from phishing attacks. It has to be noted that the test is only considering the automated protection.

I don’t dismiss the tests as inaccurate, just that they are inconsequential for the informed user. Again, if you’re an idiot, or not the least bit cautious, perhaps IE8 should definitely be your browser.

So without insulting us with these type of tests, perhaps Microsoft should quietly state that IE8 should be the browser that you force your children to begin with.


I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There’s a knob called ‘brightness’, but it doesn’t work.Gallagher

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