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Symantec Global internet Security threat report

Vulnerability Trends

this section will discuss selected vulnerability trends in greater depth, providing analysis and discussion of the trends indicated by the data. the following metrics will be discussed:

  • Web browser vulnerabilities

  • Window of exposure for Web browsers

  • Web browser plug-in vulnerabilities

  • top attacked vulnerabilities

  • Zero-day vulnerabilities

  • Vulnerabilities—protection and mitigation

Web browser vulnerabilities

Web browser vulnerabilities are a serious security concern due to their role in online fraud and in the propagation of malicious code, spyware, and adware. Web browsers are particular security concerns because they are exposed to a greater amount of potentially untrusted or hostile content than most other applications. this is a concern because every year there is an increased reliance on browsers and their plug-ins as the internet becomes more integral to business and leisure activities. Attacks can originate from malicious websites as well as legitimate websites that have been compromised to serve malicious content. Browsers can also facilitate client-side attacks because of their use of plug-ins and other applications in handling potentially malicious content served from the Web, such as compromised documents and media files.

this metric will examine the total number of vulnerabilities affecting the following Web browsers:

  • Apple Safari

  • Google Chrome

  • Microsoft internet Explorer

  • Mozilla Firefox89

  • Opera

During 2009, 169 vulnerabilities affected Firefox (figure 7). this is more than the 99 vulnerabilities that were documented in 2008 for Mozilla browsers.

89

As of this report, Symantec has limited the Mozilla browsers studied to include only Firefox because the Mozilla suite is no longer supported by the Mozilla Foundation.

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