‫ Opera leads in browser anti-phishing protection

ID: IRCNE2013011742
Date: 2013-01-22
According to “ZDNet”, the most recently released comparative review by av-comparatives.org shows that Opera leads competing browsers in anti-phishing protection. Should you make the switch? Not so fast!
The comparative review used 294 phishing URLs and tested the following browsers:
  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome 23.0.1271.97 m
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0.9112.16421/9.0.12
  • Mozilla Firefox 17.0.1
  • Opera 12.11.1661.
It produced the following results:
  • Opera: 94.2 percent detection rate of the phishing URLs used in the test
  • Internet Explorer: 82 percent detection rate for the phishing URLs used in the test
  • Google Chrome: 72.4 percent detection rate for the phishing URLs used in the test
  • Apple Safari: 65.6 percent detection rate for the phishing URLs used in the test
  • Mozilla Firefox: 54,8 percent detection rate for the phishing URLs used in the test.
None of the browsers triggered a "false phishing alarm." What kind of conclusions we can draw based on the these results, and what should decision makers keep in mind when considering a company-wide browser switch?
There's a special crowd of Internet users who are prone to make impulsive switches to a new product or browser, every time a new study or comparative review is released. That's totally wrong, and here's why:
  • Time period-specific results: What users and decision makers need to keep in mind is that the results from these comparative reviews are time sensitive, rather than being 100 percent conclusive. And while they offer factual evidence for the performance of a particular product or browser over a specific period of time, the results do not necessarily reflect the big picture, which in 2013 has to do with increased quality assurance (QA) applied by cybercriminals
  • Built-in phishing protection is among the many other factors to take into consideration before making a switch: Although Opera indeed outperformed competing browsers in anti-phishing protection, it doesn't necessarily mean it outperformed competing browsers when it comes to built-in security mechanisms in general. Case in point: A Google-commissioned study released in 2011 claimed that Chrome is the most secure browser on the market. What the report excluded as a key factor is vulnerable Chrome extensions that could lead to the successful compromise of a host running them. For instance, in 2011, a group of researchers tested 100 Chrome extensions and found that 27 of them contained 51 vulnerabilities. With Chrome leading the global browser wars, it's also worth emphasizing one of the most popular myopias that end and corporate users suffer from nowadays: the myth of the fully patched Web browser in the context of security.


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