Secunia: Firefox more likely to be fully patched

Secunia says that Firefox users are more likely to have installed security patches than IE users

Firefox users have something new to brag about. Security vendor Secunia reports that users of the open-source browser are more likely to have installed the latest security updates than Web surfers running Internet Explorer or Opera.

Secunia's analysis is based on more than 350,000 software checks, performed over the past five months by its free Secunia Software Inspector service.

According to Secunia, 5.19 percent of all Firefox 2 users had missed security updates. For IE6, which is used by nearly half of all Web surfers, that number was 9.61 percent. Microsoft's latest IE7 browser had a number much closer to Firefox's results: 5.40 percent.

Opera was the least likely to be patched. 11.96 percent of all Opera 9.x browsers were missing updates, Secunia found.

The numbers didn't surprise some observers.

"People have to choose to use Firefox," said Mike Cherry, an analyst with the Directions on Microsoft research firm. "Does that automatically preselect them into a more sophisticated user class, that is more likely to install an update?"

Firefox and IE7 users are more likely to be early adopters who have a keen interest in keeping up-to-date with the latest technology, said Don Leatham, director of solutions and strategy with patch management software vendor PatchLink.

The fact that Firefox updates are delivered via the browser itself, rather than through a centralized updating mechanism like Windows Update may also be a factor Leatham added. "I think their actual execution from a software standpoint of letting the user know that Firefox needs to be updated is pretty good," he said.

Still, browsers are much more likely to be patched than other types of software. Secunia found that 28 percent of all programs on PCs it scanned were not fully updated.

"When it comes to other applications that don't immediately seem that exposed, people tend to wait for an extended period of time before patching," wrote Secunia IT Development Manager Jakob Balle in the Secunia analysis.

Media players fall into this category of frequently unpatched software. According to Secunia's findings, 26.96 percent of WinAMP 5 installations were missing updates. For QuickTime 7, that percentage was 33.14 percent.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?