IE 8 vs Firefox honestly which is more secure?

mayu

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Nov 15, 2009
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I have a simple question. Which Internet Browser is the best in security. I am not talking about speed, just pure security. Some say its IE8 and some Firefox I am looking for a more proper professional answer. If people from Tom's Hardware can also give input about my question I would really appreciate that.
 

rwpritchett

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Mar 17, 2006
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Tom's did a web browser shoot out last year (link). Unfortunately it focused entirely on performance and not security.

I too find some reviews that show IE8 more secure, while another review finds either Firefox or Chrome more secure. You have to look really close at the metrics. For example, one review I read that claimed IE8 was the most secure made that claim based on the # of vulnerabilities. IE8 had less vulnerabilities than all the rest (Safari, Opera, Chrome and Firefox). HOWEVER, there was no weight given to those vulnerabilities. For example, a single security hole that allows a hacker complete access to your computer vs. fifty minor vulnerabilities that does not, the former would clearly outweigh the latter.

A good measure that I like to use is the most recent Pwn2Own competition. This is a digital security contest in which professional hackers exploit web browsers for prize money and it highlights who is secure and who is not very easily. Last year's most secure browser was Chrome:
The only browser that has not succumbed to the efforts of professionals is Google Chrome 4. They said that’s because of his architecture based on sandbox that prevents the execution of code that can change the system, or access sensitive data.
You asked which is more secure: IE8 or Firefox

I suggest you look more into Google's Chrome. Google, being the uber-weathly company that it is, has even placed a $14,000 bounty on high-risk vulnerabilities (link). Like Pwn2Own, nothing inspires people to find security holes like a big pile of money. BTW, in the Tom's web browser shoot-out, Chrome was the performance winner. Win-win situation.
 

rwpritchett

Distinguished
Mar 17, 2006
203
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18,860
24
Tom's did a web browser shoot out last year (link). Unfortunately it focused entirely on performance and not security.

I too find some reviews that show IE8 more secure, while another review finds either Firefox or Chrome more secure. You have to look really close at the metrics. For example, one review I read that claimed IE8 was the most secure made that claim based on the # of vulnerabilities. IE8 had less vulnerabilities than all the rest (Safari, Opera, Chrome and Firefox). HOWEVER, there was no weight given to those vulnerabilities. For example, a single security hole that allows a hacker complete access to your computer vs. fifty minor vulnerabilities that does not, the former would clearly outweigh the latter.

A good measure that I like to use is the most recent Pwn2Own competition. This is a digital security contest in which professional hackers exploit web browsers for prize money and it highlights who is secure and who is not very easily. Last year's most secure browser was Chrome:
The only browser that has not succumbed to the efforts of professionals is Google Chrome 4. They said that’s because of his architecture based on sandbox that prevents the execution of code that can change the system, or access sensitive data.
You asked which is more secure: IE8 or Firefox

I suggest you look more into Google's Chrome. Google, being the uber-weathly company that it is, has even placed a $14,000 bounty on high-risk vulnerabilities (link). Like Pwn2Own, nothing inspires people to find security holes like a big pile of money. BTW, in the Tom's web browser shoot-out, Chrome was the performance winner. Win-win situation.
 
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