Cyber Ratings ran a study in 2021 in which it tested the defensive capabilities of the web browsers Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The study observed malware and phishing protections of the browsers over the course of 20 days. Four tests were run each day, with fresh attacks being added and old ones removed throughout the 20 day period.
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox use Google Safe Browsing API to protect users against malware and phishing attacks. Microsoft Edge uses Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for protection.
The following browser versions were used for the test on a Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 system:
- Google Chrome: Version 90.0.4430.212 – 91.0.4472.19
- Microsoft Edge: Version: 91.0.864.19 – 91.0.864.37
- Mozilla Firefox: Version 88.0.1 – 88.0.1
Microsoft Edge offered better protection during the test period than the two other browsers. For malware attacks, Edge managed to block 97.4% of all attacks and 97.7% zero-hour attack protection. Chrome blocked 86.3% of all attacks and Firefox 81.8% of all attacks according to the study.
Microsoft Edge offered the most protection, blocking 97.4% of malware while providing the highest zero-hour protection rate (97.7%). Google Chrome provided the second-highest protection, blocking an average of 86.3%, followed by Mozilla Firefox at 81.8%.
Company researchers analyzed the blocking behavior over time. Microsoft Edge’s capabilities did not change much over time, but it protected against 97.7% of all attacks from the first hour attacks began. After seven days, Edge managed to block 97.9% of all attacks.
Google Chrome and Firefox blocked 86.4% and 82.8% of all threats respectively in the first hour. On the first day, protection percentages rose to 90.6% for Chrome and 85.9% for Firefox. After seven days, Chrome blocked 93.1% of all attacks and Firefox 88.7% of all attacks according to the study.
Microsoft Edge offered better protection against phshing attacks as well according to the study. Microsoft’s browser blocked 92.3% of all phishing URLs, Chrome 84.6% and Firefox 83.2%.
Microsoft Edge offered the most protection, blocking 92.3% of phishing URLs while providing the highest zero-hour protection rate (93.5%). Google Chrome provided the second-highest protection, blocking an average of 84.6%, followed by Mozilla Firefox at 83.2%.
The block rate over time changed only slightly for all tested browsers. Edge’s blocking rose to 95.1%, Chrome’s to 92.9% and Firefox’s to 90.6%.
Interested users find test methodology and the two comparative rating reports as PDF downloads on the Cyber Ratings website. Everything is available as a free direct download at the time of writing.
Microsoft Edge has the edge when it comes to malware and phishing protections according to the study. The base configuration of each browser was used and automatic updates were enabled. Protections can be improved significantly by users, for instance by installing content blockers or by using common sense while on the Internet. (via Dr. Windows)
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