Mozilla Disputes Bit9's Claim That Firefox is "Most Vulnerable App"
December 18, 2008 8:43 AM
comment(s) - last by
Experts are taking issue to a recent study which warned users of potential risk of using Firefox
A recent security study from Bit9 argued that Mozilla's
Firefox was the most vulnerable application
and thus a major threat to businesses. One of the chief reasons it gave was the lack of a large-network patching system. For this reason, despite
recent security flaws
, it did not consider Microsoft's Internet Explorer software, as it assumed that such a patching system dramatically lowered vulnerability.
Bit9 went as far as to suggest that enterprises block their employees from having access to Firefox and delete it from work computers.
Some firms, including Mozilla, were quick to take issue with Bit9's alarming comments. Representatives from Mozilla's security branch, Human Shield contacted
with remarks on the topic. The company's Johnathan Nightingale states, "While we're always happy to see stories that focus on educating our users about security, there are some problems with Bit9's methodology that hinder its ability to draw any meaningful conclusions."
According to Mr. Nightingale, by raising the "risk" of companies which disclose critical vulnerabilities, Bit9's study punishes openness, a critical key to security. It rewards companies that keep their vulnerabilities secret, he argues.
He also criticizes Bit9's stance on patching, stating that the firm's claims fall short of reality. He states, "Bit9 seems to understand (the need for smarter metrics) in its focus on application support for updates, but again it fails to account for the real world experience. Firefox does not deliver WSUS updates, but our built-in update mechanism requires no user intervention, and we consistently see 90% adoption within six days of a new update being released."
He concludes, "The Firefox vulnerabilities Bit9 discusses are long-since fixed, with the majority of these fixes coming within days of it being announced. That is the real measure of application security: are known vulnerabilities fixed promptly, tested carefully, and deployed thoroughly? Bug counting is unfortunately common because it's easy, but it should not be a substitute for real security measurement."
Similar sentiments were also echoed by various readers on
as well as several sources in the security business. While the Bit9 study certainly takes a controversial and interesting position, according to many its claims are overly broad and flawed. Whether this is the case is largely a matter of opinion, but one thing's for sure -- whether you're on Firefox, Opera, Chrome, or Internet Explorer, security is largely in the
hands of the user
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Yeah, as the IE exploit raged wild for a few days ...
12/18/2008 12:57:58 PM
The patch released yesterday, and every computer at my workplace was patched by the morning.. I even came in to see that my computer had been restarted for me.
Apparently firefox, chrome and safari also all released patches yesterday, which makes one wonder if it was only IE7 that was affected.
Still getting Windows "Restart Now/Later" for this patch.
Internet Explorer components are used in Windows Explorer, which is probably the reason it is asking you to restart. Chances are you don't have to restart you computer completely, but merely logoff and log back in to restart the windows explorer shell.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
Critical Vulnerability In Internet Explorer Found, Patch on the Way
December 17, 2008, 12:50 PM
Firefox: Most Risky App to Businesses in New Study
December 12, 2008, 4:00 PM
Woman Succumbs to "Greed", Loses $400K USD to Nigerian Scammers
November 18, 2008, 8:31 AM
Google plans ultra-fast wireless Internet for Research Triangle Park, N.C.
August 12, 2016, 6:30 AM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Most Popular Articles
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Who is in Risk of Getting Oral Cancer?
Sep 23, 2016, 6:02 AM
France Bans Plastic Eating Utensils in Restaurants
Sep 18, 2016, 10:49 AM
Progress Against Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Sep 17, 2016, 5:30 AM
Apple Watch Series 2 - Number 1 in the Customer Satisfaction.
Sep 7, 2016, 6:19 PM
First Self-Driving Car debut on the streets of Singapore
Aug 28, 2016, 4:10 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information