|13 Aug 2009||#1|
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Real-World Protection With IE8ís SmartScreen Filterô
Back in March, I posted a note to the IEBlog when the pre-release version of IE8ís SmartScreen Filter had delivered its 10 millionth malware block. Today, Iím happy to report that IE8ís SmartScreen Filter has delivered more than 70 million blocks in the first four months since IE8ís official release, for a cumulative total of 80 million blocks. This data is a strong indication of the value of the protection SmartScreen provides, and of just how widespread socially-engineered malware attacks are on the web today.
While we were proud of the work that went into SmartScreen leading up to IE8ís release, we knew that it was only the beginning of our efforts. Microsoftís commitment to Trustworthy Browsing didnít end when we signed off on the final IE8 code-- the reputation services behind SmartScreen represent an ongoing investment that we strive to improve every day.
Eighty million blocks is an incredible number of attacks thwarted-- each malicious download blocked helps prevent compromise of that userís computer. The other key numbers that I announced in March are holding strong, even with a rapidly expanding user base:
Malware Block Effectiveness
Heading into the launch of IE8, the engineering team commissioned an independent study of SmartScreen Filter by NSS Labs. Our objective was to gather an accurate and independent baseline measurement of SmartScreenís protection against socially engineered malware attacks. That baseline, run against the IE8 Release Candidate, allows us to validate our investments in improved intelligence and technology. Since then, weíve made major investments in malware intelligence and rapid response systems to provide an ever-increasing level of protection for users.
NSS Labs has just completed a second round of studies on socially engineered malware attacks, and Iím happy to share the results. In this latest test pass, NSS found a 12% improvement in SmartScreenís protection levels. Hereís the data from NSS Labs on the malware block rate for major browsers:
Microsoftís reputation services team has other significant investments staged to launch in the next quarter, so I expect even better results in the near future.
Phishing Block Effectiveness
Weíve spent quite a bit of time talking about the socially engineered malware threat because it is currently the biggest problem users face. However, phishing remains a prevalent and important threat to users as well. Weíre continuously making improvements to our data sources and intelligence systems that deliver phishing protection. This continuous investment keeps IE in the market-leading position it established with the release of the Phishing Filter in IE7. Since then, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 have blocked over 125 million phishing attacks.
The newest NSS study included a test pass for phishing blocks. NSS Labs reported the following block rate for major browsers:
You can view the full NSS study at http://nsslabs.com/browser-security.
I hope that the internal data Iíve shared today and the results of the NSS testing are a clear indicator of our commitment to Trustworthy Browsing, and our ongoing execution against that promise.
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