Newer or older IE?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by qwerty12345, Nov 25, 2010.

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  1. qwerty12345

    qwerty12345 Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2010
    I was wondering what your opinions were on the security of different Internet Explorer versions. Now, I know there are philisophical opinions that other, less profuse browsers, are more secure because fewer people use them and so they are targetted less (the Mac defence), but for this thread, I'd like to concentrate on IE. Also, when I say an older version, I don't mean an unsupported version such as 4 or 5, but the previous versions that are still supported, such as 7 (and 6?) compared to the "current" version 8.

    The general consensus seems to be that you must always have the "latest", most "up-to-date" version of any software to take advantage of the latest bug fixes and security updates. But IE8 isn't simply a more up-to-date version of IE7, it is a separate browser. IE7 with all the latest patches and security updates, is just as up-to-date as IE8. Maybe, even more so, as IE7 has been around longer, could it have had a higher proportion of it's holes plugged, than IE8? Also, IE8's "extras" and "new features" will introduce potential new vulnerabilities.

    Essentially, IE8 will have vulnerabilites that IE7 does not (and cannot) have, IE7 has had a couple of extra years of "development" (repairs?) and so should have a greater proportion of vulnerabilities fixed, and, as they are both still currently supported, they will both receive fixes for any newly discovered security flaws.

    So, is IE7 more secure than IE8?

    Discuss. ;)
  2. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

    Apr 5, 2004
    By that logic XP is more secure than 7, which it simply isn't.

    With newer versions come newer technologies for protection. Like "Protected Mode", "SmartScreen", domain highlighting & ASLR enabled libraries. Also, web developers will hate you more for using older IE versions. I wouldn't be surprised if they try push as many people as possible to IE9 on release.
  3. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

    Jul 28, 2002
    The Gateway to the Blue Hills,WI.
    I didn't use the older versions of IE much at all because I didn't trust them.
    These newer versions of IE are a different story for me.
    I actually use IE8 and think it's much better than the older versions and I'll eventually migrate to IE9. I think the newer Microsoft browsers are more secure.
  4. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    I couldn't agree more. I dropped IE for quite a few years and just used it to update windows. I now find IE to be one of the best browsers out there. I am using it as my main browser now.
    I am using dial-up ( woe is me) and find IE faster to surf with then either Opera or Firefox.
  5. kiwidave

    kiwidave Registered Member

    Mar 29, 2010
    Same here,I am testing IE9 on Windows 7 and am very impressed so far,so impressed I uninstalled FF.:)
  6. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  7. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

    Jun 14, 2010
    The 'security' of a browser lies in different layers one can say:

    1. The practices of the person who does the browsing. Essentially forgotten by many.

    2. The plug-ins of the browser (disabled, updated, etc etc)

    e.g. Flash, Silverlight, Java, etc

    3. Javascript, IFrames, etc (all sorts of stuffs that goes behind the scenes when browsing that the ordinary folk wouldn't understand)

    4. All sorts of tweaks (registry tweaks for IE and config tweaks within the other browsers such as about:config) And yeah, there's security zones in IE not to forget.

    5. Additional plug-ins, add-ons that may 'beefen' up the security of a browser. If used correctly.

    6. Additional security features provided within the browser itself.

    e.g. IE: "SmartScreen", Firefox phishing filter, etc

    7. Additional security features provided within the OS itself that provides direct/indirect security benefits to the browser:

    e.g. UAC, Integrity levels within Vista/7.

    8. Updates/patches to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. E.g. how fast are updates released? Nature of the disclosure - open/hidden?

    I'm listing all those that I can remember at the top of my head. I've might missed others..

    Now decide, how you define the 'security' of a browser. Which one gains the highest priority in your eyes? No doubts that older vs newer IE does make a difference but by how much? Are you affected by those gaping holes or have you figured out ways to make your browser more 'secure' by alternative means? Are there any other variables/factors that's important to you?

    Too many factors, too many choices, too many thoughts over the matter. You can't ever achieve a 100% (or as close to) consensus over this old debate.
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