Outdated Browsers Bring Big Risk

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 @ 07:11 PM gHale

Users that do not update their browsers are more susceptible to attacks, a new report said.

Nearly 25 percent of users don’t use the latest browser versions, and those using Mozilla Firefox are the slowest when it comes to updating, which leaves them open to all kinds of web-based attacks, said researchers from Kaspersky Lab.

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Basing their results on the information collected from their 10 million randomly selected customers from different regions across the world, Kaspersky found Chrome users are nearly as numerous as Internet Explorer ones (36.5 and 37.8 percent, respectively), while the numbers for Firefox (19.5 percent) keep falling.

While the news isn’t good for Mozilla, it is for security, as only 69.5 percent of Firefox users use the latest two versions, but 94.7 percent of Chrome users and 96.5 percent of IE users employ the latest versions.

Also, compared to Chrome users, Firefox users update to the newer version at a slower speed and more users tend to stay on the older version for a longer period of time.

The research differentiates between older (but still supported) versions of the browsers and the outdated ones, but still point out, all in all, 23 percent of the users haven’t opted for the latest versions and the security improvement they bring.

This could be due to the fact that some users simply don’t care about improvements to use and security, and others don’t want the new features. Others still have disabled automatic updating because they discovered new browser versions can be incompatible with the plugins they use.

Whatever the reason, they make themselves easy targets for web-based attacks, some of which still use older exploits since they are still efficient.

Kaspersky collected the data for the report in August through the cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network.

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