Independent security organization NSS Labs released a report today claiming that Internet Explorer 9, the latest version of Microsoft's web browser, detected 99.2% of all socially engineered malware in its tests, compared to 13.2% for Chrome 12, 7.6% for Firefox 4, 7.6% for Safari 5, and 6.1% for Opera 11 (the most recent versions of the competing web browsers available at the time of testing). NSS Labs defines socially engineered malware as "a web page link ... designed to fool the user into taking action."

The full report, which includes in-depth methodology for the test and can be found here in PDF format, credits IE9's SmartScreen filter for its high score - SmartScreen can warn users against visiting both known-bad URLs and downloading executables with suspicious attributes

Of course, socially engineered malware is just one of many types of malware, and IE's detection alone isn't enough to stop users from downloading and running the malicious software anyway. There is no foolproof way to keep any computing device completely safe from malware, but in Windows particularly you'd still be well-advised to use antivirus protection and, whenever possible, run as a standard user instead of a computer administrator.

[Thanks to AT commenter Braumin for the tip!]

Source: NSS Labs



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  • gevorg - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    And we thought that average IE users are dumb.
  • gaiden2k7 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    well IE9 users don't represent 'average' probably 15% IE7&8 is the 'average' Reply
  • Braumin - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I am sure you know that report was a hoax to prove that bloggers never check facts...
  • B3an - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    The funny thing is that many people that like to think they're computer literate also normally think that IE users are stupid. I think these people are actually the stupid ones. IE9 is better than competing browsers in many areas, and is very likely the safest browser around, which is backed up by many independent researches and now this latest one. Yet so called tech savvy users stay away from IE9 still because they dont actually know anything about it and base there judgements on older versions of IE.

    There was another thing lately that proved that IE9 was also better at JS performance when it came to real world use, and not useless benchmarks. IE9 also still has the best GPU acceleration performance by miles.
  • Subzero0000 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    This represents exactly why IE users are dumb.
    Since IE users are so dumb and would fall for these malwares, therefore IE has to do exceptionally good filtering.

    Just kidding :P
  • falc0ne - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    hahah you made my day. I had a very good laugh when reading this:)) Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Did you read the follow up article that stated the nature of the original article was fake Reply
  • Titanius - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Firefox 4.0 with NoScript addon detects 100%. Reply
  • GuinnessKMF - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Anyone who thinks they're 100% secure is greatly deceived. Reply
  • dayanth - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    NoScript Addon detects 100%... except in the occasion of user error. :) Just in case someone mistakening "Temporarily allow all this page" or mistakenly allows a certain website. Reply

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