Symantec Global internet Security threat report
Firefox Safari Internet Explorer Chrome Opera
Figure 7. Web browser vulnerabilities Source: Symantec
internet Explorer was subject to 45 new vulnerabilities in 2009. this is fewer than the 47 new vulnerabilities documented in internet Explorer in 2008. One particular vulnerability in internet Explorer was the third most attacked of all of the vulnerabilities discovered in 2009.90 interestingly, reports of attacks in the wild began to surface seven days after the vulnerability was announced by Microsoft. patches were available when Microsoft first published the vulnerability. numerous publicly and commercially available exploits were subsequently made available. the potential for reliable exploitation and the market share of internet Explorer were factors in the large number of attacks targeting this vulnerability. this demonstrates that internet Explorer is still a popular target of internet attackers despite the trend toward attacks on browser plug-ins and other client-side vulnerabilities that do not target the browser directly.
the results for the remaining three browsers analyzed in 2009 were as follows: Safari was affected by 94 new vulnerabilities, which is more than double the 40 vulnerabilities identified in Safari in 2008; Symantec documented 25 new vulnerabilities in Opera, which is down from 35 in 2008; finally, Chrome was affected by 41 vulnerabilities, which is significantly more than the 11 documented for 2008—although it should be noted that Chrome was only officially released in September 2008.