Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Internet Explorer is the safest Web browser!? Ha!
ZDNet ^ | 12 October 2011 | Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Posted on 10/13/2011 7:28:52 AM PDT by ShadowAce

Summary: Microsoft is trying again to con people into thinking that Internet Explorer is the safest browser around. It’s not. At best, it’s tied with Chrome.

According to Microsoft, Chrome on Linux only gets a 2.5 for security!

According to Microsoft, Chrome on Linux only gets a 2.5 for security!

Microsoft has always been fond of paying analysts to say that its products are best, or having partners release reports showing how their rivals’ products are second-rate, and, now, Web sites that “show” how Internet Explorer (IE) is better than Chrome and Firefox when it comes to security. Really? Didn’t Microsoft just release yet another major Internet Explorer patch?

I quote from the IE patch update (MS11-081), which apples to all currently supported versions of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer and IE 6 as well: “The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.”

Yes, that includes IE 9, the best and most up-to-date IE which is only available on Windows 7. Isn’t it funny how Microsoft claims that IE 9 is the most secure of its browser family, but somehow it has to have the same problems fixed that exist in IE 6, 7, and 8? Could it be that it’s really not that different after all from the rest of its historically insecure family?

If you go to Microsoft’s Web browser security “test” site, Your Browser Matters though, it will tell you that IE 9, with a score of four, is the most secure browser of all. Funny, it told me that it was the most secure both before and after the patch.

As for the other browsers, it informs me that Firefox 7.01 only rates a 2, and Chrome 14 gets a 2.5. And, this I might add, were my scores on my Mint Linux desktop!

How can they produce such clearly nonsensical results? It’s because they’re setting the rules on what’s important and what’s not. So, for example, Microsoft give IE full credit for its SmartScreen malware detection software. With SmartScreen, software that signed with a digital certificate that Microsoft trusts is allowed to be saved or ran. Chrome, on the other hand, blocks known malware, but lets you save unknown, potentially dangerous programs.

On the other hand, if you do download malware with Chrome, the program is still stuck in a sandbox, where it has very limited abilities to actually attack your system.

Besides that, Chrome automatically upgrades browser extensions as security fixes come out. Since programs like Adobe Flash are often used for attacks these days, and in Flash’s case there have been 17 significant patches in the last 16 months, I think automatic security updates for Flash and other potential problem programs are a big deal. While Microsoft acknowledges that it doesn’t provide these important features, it doesn’t take away any points for lacking them from its perfect score.

Interesting judgement call there Microsoft.

Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla’s director of Firefox engineering, also has trouble with what factors Microsoft considers important and what it doesn’t. “Mozilla is fiercely proud of our long track record of leadership on security. We believe that being safe on the Web means having a robust browser that defends against malware and phishing, includes new technologies to help sites and users secure themselves, and a responsive security team that gets security updates out quickly and reliably. Microsoft’s site is more notable for the things it fails to include: security technologies like HSTS [HTTP Strict Transport Security], privacy tools like Do Not Track, and vendor response time when vulnerabilities are discovered,” said Nightingale.

Exactly so. Firefox has long been a leader in browser security. True, Microsoft has gotten a lot better about security, but Firefox was doing it when the horribly unsafe IE 6 was still the best Microsoft could do. True, today. you can make Windows and IE relatively safe. No, really you can. All you have to do is constantly and regularly patch it.

Those of us who use other operating systems, like Linux and Mac OS X, and alternative browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, can sit back and relax more. Don’t get me wrong. We must patch our software as well. As security guru Bruce Schneier points out, “Security is a process, not a product.”

Security also isn’t something though that you measure by a Web site that, when you get down to it, simply checks to see what your browser you’re running is IE 9 or not. Deciding what’s a secure Web browser a lot more complicated than that. Personally, thanks to Chrome’s auto-updating and sandboxing, I feel a lot safer running Chrome on Windows than I ever will running IE.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: browser; ie; microsoft

1 posted on 10/13/2011 7:28:59 AM PDT by ShadowAce
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

2 posted on 10/13/2011 7:29:45 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

So how many geeks out there think I should be flayed alive for using Safari? I’ve never had an issue with it. I know the smaller population of users means that viruses aren’t (usually) targeted at Macs but website exploits should be equal opportunity attackers.


3 posted on 10/13/2011 7:32:21 AM PDT by texanred
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

4 posted on 10/13/2011 7:33:55 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce
IE 9 should be safe. I can not load a flash viewer to it. Adobe has me as a commercial user as the download failed so many times. I have been dealing with computers over 30 years and documentation lacking and unreadable now days. Firefox works fine. Download.com gives many free anti virus downloads. Microsoft does have a free security system also.
5 posted on 10/13/2011 7:36:43 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: martin_fierro

I just bailed from IE, it was slow as molasses in January and constantly froze. Just couldn’t take it anymore!!!!!

I downloaded Google Chrome which is so much faster I can cruise through my daily website list in about 1/2 the time.


6 posted on 10/13/2011 7:40:05 AM PDT by Radagast the Fool ("Mexico-Beirut with tacos!"--Dr. Zoidberg)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

Lately, I seem to get as many or more patches for Firefox as for IE.


7 posted on 10/13/2011 7:41:07 AM PDT by Ingtar (I closed my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: texanred
So how many geeks out there think I should be flayed alive for using Safari?

I don't criticize anyone over something I know nothing about. I've heard IE9 is better, but I still won't use it (for several reasons).

8 posted on 10/13/2011 7:42:57 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: texanred

I use Safari and love it. No Flash. RSS, PDFs and other files display perfectly. Chrome is faster, but I’m stuck in my old habits...


9 posted on 10/13/2011 7:48:24 AM PDT by frankenMonkey (By God, we will not squander what has been given us!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mountainlion

Flash is available for Internet Explorer 9.


10 posted on 10/13/2011 7:51:17 AM PDT by moviefan8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

This article is by a friend of mine who is in charge of keeping Firefox secure....

https://spartiates.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/microsofts-browser-security-website-marketing/


11 posted on 10/13/2011 8:08:23 AM PDT by fremont_steve
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: moviefan8
Flash is available for Internet Explorer 9.

It will not install on my computer x20. I do not understand the Geakese directions so the effect is that it will not work!

12 posted on 10/13/2011 8:09:39 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Radagast the Fool

Opera’s working fine for me.


13 posted on 10/13/2011 8:12:52 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

I read the article, and find absolutely no evidence as to which browser is better. It’s nothing but a rant from another MicroSoft hater.

Which is not to say which browser is best. Only to say that you certainly won’t learn anything from this guy.

I’ve been using Windows 7 and IE9 since they came out, and haven’t had a single problem. No idea whether that’s MS or my various antispyware programs. But IE9 is fast, convenient, and seemingly pretty secure.

More secure than other programs? No idea. But I like it.


14 posted on 10/13/2011 8:31:07 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: texanred

Safari is fine but it has its own problems. There are some sites that just refuse to play with it.


15 posted on 10/13/2011 9:17:36 AM PDT by dangerdoc (see post #6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: frankenMonkey
I use Safari and love it. No Flash.

What am I missing? Adobe has a Flash plug-in for Safari. I use it and it works perfectly on Safari on a Mac (just not on an iPhone). I can't speak for iPads, but speaking for Scoutmaster, Mrs. Scoutmaster, and the assorted Scoutmaster-ettes, Safari runs Flash on one MacBook and multiple MacBook Pros, iMacs, and Mac Pros.

I use Safari, Firefox, and Chrome - which browser I open depends on what I'm going to do.

16 posted on 10/13/2011 9:20:53 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

THAT is funny!! lol!!!


17 posted on 10/13/2011 9:27:41 AM PDT by Bikkuri
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

When comparing it to the latest version of IE it’s absolutely true. The issue Microsoft has is people are still running XP and IE6/7.

Everyone wants to compare the latest and greatest vs. Microsoft’s stuff from over 10 years ago. The amazing thing is that the 10 year old software still competes. Once you compare to the latest and greatest from Microsoft they generally win.


18 posted on 10/13/2011 10:44:02 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scoutmaster

I have the extension, or whatever its called, that blocks Flash from playing unless you want it to. Click on the flash box on a page, and it will play.


19 posted on 10/13/2011 11:27:30 AM PDT by frankenMonkey (By God, we will not squander what has been given us!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: frankenMonkey

I’m sorry. I misunderstood. I thought you were saying that Flash didn’t play on Safari. My mistake.


20 posted on 10/13/2011 2:56:28 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]




Click the Pic               Thank you, JoeProBono

Gary and Harriet Had a Fight
Harriet Is Very Upset About the Whole Thing

Follow the Exciting Adventures of Gary the Snail!


Abolish FReepathons
Go Monthly

Planning to donate at least $10? You can sponsor
one or more New Monthly Donors for no additional cost
FReepmail TheOldLady

21 posted on 10/13/2011 4:01:41 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

The safest browser is one that won’t run at all.


22 posted on 10/13/2011 4:04:41 PM PDT by tacticalogic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Magic Fingers

I have heard other Opera users say they like it, too-and that’s great!! Think I’ll check it out!!


23 posted on 10/14/2011 7:37:05 AM PDT by Radagast the Fool ("Mexico-Beirut with tacos!"--Dr. Zoidberg)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: dangerdoc

I tried Safari out of curiosity, and found it to be OK, but I couldn’t stand the way it managed bookmarks. Also, I found that a lot of stuff I didn’t want came with it (e.g. iTunes and QuickTime). I eventually got rid of all of it.


24 posted on 10/14/2011 7:45:03 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Radagast the Fool

“I have heard other Opera users say they like it, too-and that’s great!! Think I’ll check it out!!”

It’s worth a shot. Firefox became too crash/freeze prone so I went to Explorer, which was okay until the latest release - which wouldn’t work with by banking and some other sites. So far, no stability/incompatibility problems with Opera. Good luck!


25 posted on 10/14/2011 9:37:26 AM PDT by Magic Fingers
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Magic Fingers

Thank you!!


26 posted on 10/15/2011 11:29:21 AM PDT by Radagast the Fool ("Mexico-Beirut with tacos!"--Dr. Zoidberg)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson