Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for a long time has been looked at as being very unsecure. Many tech savvy people moved to alternative web browsers for better security and overall, better features.
For many years, there were three alternatives to IE; Firefox, Safari and Opera. In 2008 Google announced a new web browser, Google Chrome which today is growing a user base at an astonishing speed. They quickly went to battle with Opera for the title of speed king but at what cost?
A list, named the “Dirty Dozen” has been put together the security company Bit9, based on information from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's public National Vulnerability Database.
The list, places Google Chrome at No.1 for the most vulnerabilities with 76 being discovered. Apple’s Safari comes in second with 60 vulnerabilities followed by Microsoft Office in third with 57.
Harry Sverdlove, CTO of Bit9 said “A variety of vulnerability types - including buffer-overflow and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities - impacted these applications” He later says “some exploits of vulnerabilities could allow attacks to compromise the user's desktop entirely and perhaps pose a risk for the entire organization. A list like the annual "Dirty Dozen" highlights trends and the need to make sure software is kept updated”
This year the company found 3,268 vulnerabilities which built the list. The most secure appears to be the Opera web browser which had 6 vulnerabilities.
Many may claim Google Chrome, being only two years old has a reason for the new “vulnerability title” whereas others may disagree.
Last year’s list was built on slightly different criteria, as it excluded the Apple Mac platform with Mozilla Firefox taking last year’s title.
The full results can be seen below:
- Google Chrome – 76
- Apple Safari – 60
- Microsoft Office – 57
- Adobe Acrobat – 54
- Mozilla Firefox – 51
- Sun JDK – 36
- Adobe Shockwave Player – 35
- Microsoft Internet Explorer – 32
- RealNetworks RealPlayer – 14
- Apple Webkit – 9
- Adobe Flash Player – 8
- Apple Quicktime and Opera Web browser (tied) – 6