Study: Among top browsers, IE catches most socially engineered attacks

Share this article:
IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari's protection against phishing was tested.
IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari's protection against phishing was tested.

Among the top web browsers, Internet Explorer did the best job in defending users against malware delivered by socially engineered ruses, a recent study found.

NSS Labs released its “Evolutions in Browser Security” report on Monday, comparing the security performance of IE, Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

Through its 2013 browser test, the research firm revealed that IE blocked 89 percent of phishing sites hosting malware and socially engineered malware (SEM), defined by NSS as an attack that deceives users into downloading and installing malicious software, such a spurious programs found online like rogue antivirus.

Following next in performance was Google's Chrome browser, which caught 76 percent of SEM attacks and phishing email ruses leading to infected sites. Apple's Safari blocked 53 percent of the attacks, performing slightly better than Mozilla's browser, Firefox, which stopped 52 percent of attacks.

The report also said that, while IE outperformed other browsers, education was the “great equalizer” in defense against socially engineered attacks.

“By definition, these are social problems and technology has rarely solved a social problem,” the report said. “Technology can help to mitigate problems, but education is paramount.”

The report went on to advise that “for users who are adept at identifying social engineering attacks, the browser adds little additional security; however, most users are not aware of the dynamics of socially engineering and will fall prey to SEM even when they are able to identify many types of phishing attacks.”

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

TOP COMMENTS

More in News

Hackers grab email addresses of CurrentC pilot participants

Hackers grab email addresses of CurrentC pilot participants

Although the hack didn't breach the mobile payment app itself, consumer confidence may be shaken.

Operators disable firewall features to increase network performance, survey finds

Operators disable firewall features to increase network performance, ...

McAfee found that 60 percent of 504 surveyed IT professionals prioritize security as the primary driver of network design.

PCI publishes guidance on security awareness programs

PCI publishes guidance on security awareness programs

The guidance, developed by a PCI Special Interest Group, will help merchants educate staff on protecting cardholder data.