A group of researchers said 637 million Web users are surfing with outdated Internet browsers and therefore at greater risk of Web-based attacks.
Using data collected from Google Web searches and security firm Secunia, the researchers, Stefan Frei (of ETH, Zurich), Thomas Dübendorfer (Google), Gunter Ollmann (IBM ISS), and Martin May (ETH, Zurich), analyzed the browsers used in a new report. They did so in an effort to understand why so many recent attacks by criminal hackers have been aimed at the browser, and why those attacks have been so successful.
Overall the authors found that roughly 40 percent of users were using insecure versions of Web browsers. Among the least compliant were users of Internet Explorer, which currently dominates the Internet browser market.
The data was collected in mid-June 2008. The users were scattered among 78 percent Internet Explorer users, 16 percent Firefox, 3 percent Safari, and 0.8 percent for Opera. Of these, 52 percent were running the latest version of Internet Explorer, 92 percent for Firefox, 70 percent for Apple, and 90 percent for Opera.