NSS Labs (Ranting)

Short post. Venting about http://www.nsslabs.com/

For a long time many have web browsers competed against each other with enhanced features and security, all benefiting us. There have been people that favored one over the other for ease of use or maybe system recourses. But it’s mainly all opinions, all browsers are fast, secure and allow you to access the internet; the only difference is bells, whistles and GUI.

But what am I getting at? Well recently there was this study done by the NSS Labs, they are a research and testing facility that say they test lots of stuff, like web browsers and antiviruses. But really?

They claim that their tests are NOT sponsored by Microsoft, but considering that the tests seem to favor MS products and features. Who can tell right, maybe MS products are better. Right….

What??!?!!! Now let’s be reasonable, they do mean “Socially engineered malware” What does that mean. To put it simply, viruses that make you think they (and you) are safe. Such as, “Is your credit info hack hacked? Check now for free! #_Type Credit Card info here_”

MS Internet Explorer is very well known for including the famous, “Are you sure?” Pop-up and “Do you know what gjjjjjjjfdbg.exe is? Click ok to continue!” This not only lets the user be bombarded with unnecessary pop-ups, but according to NSS labs, protects them. And I sort of agree. However these type of features alone cannot be used to declare MS IE9 in any way safer than other browsers. It just means that MS IE will warn you with a popup that a virus may be trying to infect you. Useful if you know what a virus looks like. Useless if you don’t.  Check out the full report at http://www.nsslabs.com/research/endpoint-security/browser-security/socially-engineered-malware-global-q3-2011.html

One more report that also bugged me is this one from the folks at impartial NSS

Yeah, this makes me angry. Get their report here http://us.trendmicro.com/us/trendwatch/core-technologies/competitive-benchmarks/nss-labs/ Brought to you by TrendMicro.

There are only 2 people I know that actually recommend Trend Micro for its security, are PC vendors and this one guy at school who doesn’t know squat about computers.  I’m afraid the NSS may be a little of both.  This is not a good sign.  In fact in the real world, most sufficiently advanced users don’t use virus protection from a company and rely on their wits and good habits. And virtuals, lots and lots of virtuals. I use GNU\Linux, but I’m sure you already knew that. :)  So then really Socially Engineered Malware is not a big issue, the real Issue is “real” Malware. In other words, crummy bad software, and that is only prevented by trial and error learning.

Now that I vented that out, I felt like talking about other web browsers.  Firefox is trying to be like Google with their release cycles and their “Mozilla OS” (Hmm that would actually be interesting,  I’m gonna try that at home, thank you.), also they are trying to release a million firefoxes onto the internet hoping they breed and multiply.  I’m also glad Google is spying on me, they remind me constantly who I am. And well since I’m typing this post on my break I’ll make this post short. Thanks for reading.


About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on August 23, 2011, in Computers and Internet, Rants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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