According to a test from NSS Labs, the combination of Microsoft’s application reputation technology and automatic URL filtering that is in Internet Explorer 11 is a winning one, having surpassed Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari.
NSS were testing for block rates of socially engineered malware, or SEM, which includes all malware that a person is tricked into downloading on the net through a malicious link in an email, instant message or alternative vehicle. (Malware delivered directly in an email as an attachment is excluded)
NSS Labs’ tests show that IE has a 99% block rate for SEM whereas Chrome had a rate of 70.7%. Firefox and Safari were the underdogs of the test, hovering at around 4%.
Whilst Microsoft and Google both use application reputation technology and URL filtering, Google relies mainly on the former whereas Microsoft leans towards the latter. This may show something about the effectiveness of those web security technologies. Referring to this, Randy Abrams, research director at NSS Labs, said
Chrome’s latest block rate was considerably less than the previous NSS Labs evaluation, when the browser’s score was 83.17 percent. Abrams was unable to say what the rationale was for the large drop, however did put forward two possible reasons.
Google may need to lower the aggressiveness of its application reputation system, if it’d been preventing too many legitimate applications from being downloaded. Another potential reason is hackers have profiled the way that the system works and have discovered how to game the system.
Google failed to reply to a request for comment from CSOonline.com.