Microsoft Browser Best for Malware Blocker

Monday, July 18th 2011. | Software News

Microsoft have listened to the near constant complaining about their browsers and have produced what is turning out to be a very good browser. According to a report in Ars Technica, the ninth and latest version of Internet Explorer was the best browser out there for blocking malware. That is quite a jump for a browser that, a few iterations ago, was renowned for let’s put this politelyhaving a bit of work to do in that area.

 Internet Explorer’s SmartFilter URL scanner yielded substantially better results than the other browsers tested. The Application Reputation feature then picked up any malicious executables that the URL scanner didn’t trap. This shows the potential value of the Application Reputation feature; applications earn reputation by being downloaded regularly. An executable that nobody else has ever downloaded has no reputation at all, and so Internet Explorer 9 warns about the file. This means that its behavior is the reverse of the other filtering options in both Internet Explorer and other browsers: they default to permitting access to unknown URLs, only blocking locations that appear problematic. Application Reputation defaults to blocking.

The report did mention the high number of false positives which does mean that legitimate content may not be downloaded, or more worryingly, may lead users not to trust the filters and ignore them, thereby defeating the point of them.

For years Internet Explorer has been an object of derision among web developers for Microsoft’s interesting interpretation of some key web standards. However, as one developer did point out, perhaps they should secretly be thanking Microsoft for keeping them in work. As anyone who has had to struggle with the obscurity of the Tan Hack and all those other bodges to get IE to display your site properly knows, it did provide useful employment. You would get your site to work in every other browser apart IE, and then have to spend many more hours hacking it to get it to look exactly the same in IE

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