FireFox by the Numbers, Less Secure Than IE?

The folks over at Six Revisions have posted some very interesting materials that reveal the greatness that is Firefox. The numbers are, for the most part, really impressive. However, when you get to the “security” section, it raises questions.

Is Internet Explorer more secure than Firefox?

The infographic clearly depicts that many people love Firefox, as over 1.3 billion people have downloaded the browser since 2004.

The graphic also points out that — as far as vulnerabilities are concerned — Firefox has some serious flaws. The number of vulnerabilities that Firefox has had over the past few years (from 2007 – 2009) is 221 while Internet Explorer has had 104. This means that Mozilla’s browser has had over twice the amount of vulnerabilities.

That doesn’t sound too secure, does it?

However, there is a silver lining: Mozilla usually takes less than a day to fix these vulnerabilities while Microsoft responds with a fix around seven days later. That is very admirable and shows the power of open source efforts.

But it doesn’t excuse the fact that either of  these browsers have these vulnerabilities.

Also, these numbers don’t account for the number of vulnerabilities that are undiscovered from both browsers. Interestingly, this could mean that Internet Explorer could actually have more flaws than Firefox; however, this also means that Firefox could have many more vulnerabilities than Internet Explorer.

We get that there is the argument that Firefox is more heavily scrutinized because it is open source software, resulting in more flaws being discovered. But it still is interesting, from an unbiased standpoint.

In the end, there are many ways a person could look at this, but — for us — this infographic raises more questions than answers.

[Source: Six Revisions]

By James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.

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