December 9, 2011

Latest Browser Security Study

Accuvant have released a new report comparing the latest security in the three most popular browsers: Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox.

The 102-page report starts by clarifying that in any complex piece of software bugs and security flaws are inevitable. Rather than analyse the number of glitches and fixes released for each browser, they instead looked at the practical effect of the protections put in place if/when a security breach occurs.

Chrome came in top as the most secure, Internet Explorer second and Firefox third place. All tests were done using Windows 7.

The reason for this order of results, is something known as the sandbox model, and the way each browser implements it. The sandbox is designed to keep your browser files separated from the rest of your computer (think, a playground sandbox, keeping all the toys in a confined place). If someone gains access to your browser, it keeps them within your browser, stops them accessing system files, contacts, documents etc.

Chrome’s sandbox is very restrictive, only allowing access to a few system parameters and some windows hooks outside the browser. In contrast, Firefox (still!) has no sandbox model… meaning that if someone manages to get in, they can more readily access the rest of your system.

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The Value of Time