IE9 Best at Catching Malware?

IE9 Best at Catching Malware?  A recent study by NSS Labs suggests that Internet Explorer 9 trumps competing browsers when it comes to preventing web-based malware attacks. The study, which you can read in full here, also looked into the blocking abilities of Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.

The report, which tested browsers against socially engineered threats such as fake websites and malicious downloads, found that IE 9 blocks a staggering 96% of web malware. Comparatively, Chrome blocked on average 13.2%, with Firefox 4 and Safari 5 blocking only 7.6%. However, these results are not necessarily functional in practice. How many false positives are does IE 9 report? To what extent was the test designed to cater towards IE 9’s malware blocking strategies.

A particularly perceptive comment in the Slashdot forums suggests that “[w]hat the graphs are really showing is the performance of each browser’s black list versus a set of URLs they selected, and not randomly.” You can read the entire Slashdot discussion here. While a robust blacklist of domains and URLs is useful for preventing malicious attacks, it is by no means the only or most important way of screening for malware. What about vulnerabilities in the browser itself?

What do you think about these study results? What is your preferred browser? Let us know in the comments!

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