IE9 a Better Malware Blocker than Other Browsers

Even though Microsoft’s IE9 is only a few months old, Microsoft has something it can claim that other browsers can’t. It is a good malware blocker; indeed, it is better than the other browsers.

What makes the IE9 Malware Blocker stand out is that it has two components for the SmartScreen Filter. One is URL Reputation, which is included in IE8 and Application Reputation, which is new to IE9.  IE9 caught an exceptional  92% of the live threats with SmartScreen  URL  reputation, and an additional 8% with Application Reputation.   IE9 with SmartScreen offers the best protection of any browser against socially engineered malware.  Protection against malware targeting European users matched broader findings from the Q3 2010 global test.

grey IE9 a Better Malware Blocker than Other Browsers

One of the biggest problems discovered in 2010 and going into 2011 are socially engineered malware URL. This is a web page link that directly leads to a download that delivers a malicious payload whose content type would lead to execution, or more generally a website known to host malware links. These downloads appear to be safe, like those for a screen saver application, video codec upgrade. They are designed to fool the user into taking action. Some security professionals refer to these threats as “consensual” or “dangerous” downloads.

One of the biggest problems discovered in 2010 and going into 2011 are socially engineered malware URL. This is a web page link that directly leads to a download that delivers a malicious payload whose content type would lead to execution, or more generally a website known to host malware links. These downloads appear to be safe, like those for a screen saver application, video codec upgrade. They are designed to fool the user into taking action. Some security professionals refer to these threats as “consensual” or “dangerous” downloads.

How does IE9 become a better malware blocker? Essentially, this is due to browser protection, which has two main functional components. The first is the foundation is an “in-the-cloud” reputation-based system which scours the Internet for malicious websites and categorizes content accordingly; either by adding it to a black or white list, or assigning a score (depending on the vendor’s approach). This categorization may be performed manually, automatically, or using both methods. Some vendors will utilize feedback from user agents on their customers’ endpoints to report back to the reputation system automatically, providing information relevant to the trustworthiness, or otherwise, of applications and files downloaded from the Internet.

The second functional component resides within the web browser and requests reputation information from the in-the-cloud systems about specific URLs and then enforces warning and blocking functions.

IE9 works better than the other browsers because of the in-the-cloud operation. Microsoft, with its search engine Bing, and now Azure, is constantly scouring the Internet for Malware sites. It then performs blocking functions as a result of the in-the-cloud operation.

Source:

NSS Report

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4 Responses to IE9 a Better Malware Blocker than Other Browsers

  1. Ahaukin July 20, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Does it really matter? i guess NOT. It doesnt matter if IE9 has a better malware blocker. What IE developers have to take care of is the quality of code they develop, making it much less exploitable.

  2. Daniel Dudek July 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    RIght, compare IE9 with any browser on a Mac, and compare result :)

  3. chieftain20 July 21, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    What about Firefox 5?

  4. GUEST July 25, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    90% of OS vulnerabilty comes from the internet, and mostly from people visiting malicious sites and downloading dangerous stuff unknowingly.

    Browser vulnerabilites are becoming less and less common, malware is where it’s at now.

    So for IE9 to have the best malware protection is INCREDIBLY important news.

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