Feeds

Firefox went ton up in bugs in 2008

Secunia stats inflame browser beef

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Firefox had more vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer last year, but zero-day threats to the Mozilla browser were fixed more quickly than those affecting IE.

An annual scorecard report from security notification firm Secunia found that Firefox was hit by 115 security flaws in 2008, more than the combined number of its three main competitors: Internet Explorer (31), Opera (30), and Safari (32).

But Mozilla was far more adept at dealing with the appearance of zero-day vulnerabilities than Microsoft, according to Secunia. It reports that Mozilla took an average of 43 days to deal with three such incidents last year, not all of which covered critical flaws.

Meanwhile, Microsoft took an average of 100 days to deal with three zero-day flaws, the worst of which Secunia describes as "high risk." Three other less serious IE flaws that emerged last year remain unpatched.

In 2008, the security notification firm handed out its highest "extremely critical" with 11 advisories - a sharp increase from just two in 2007. On a more positive note, the number of zero-day vulnerabilities across all software packages decreased from 20 in 2007 to 12 in 2008.

Secunia's report includes stats from its patching assessment tool, Secunia PSI, which is free for consumers. These show Firefox 2.0 is unpatched one in three time (34 per cent). That's poor, but figures for Macromedia Flash Player 6.x (unpatched 83 per cent of the time) and Sun Java JRE 1.5.x/5.x (96 per cent) are far worse.

"Too many users give up patching software when it is not straightforward," Secunia reports. "Many choose to handle the applications that are easy-to-patch, whereas the applications that take longer or are difficult to patch are simply ignored."

Secunia also looked at the number of security bugs last year affecting browser plugs. Duff ActiveX controls accounted for 366 flaws last year, far dwarfing bugs particular to Java (54), Flash (19), and QuickTime plugins (30).

Secunia's complete 17-page report, which is liberally sprinkled with graphs, can be found here (pdf). ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.