It was found to have blocked 81% of live malware threats during the tests. The figure seems more imposing once you learn that the runner-up, Firefox 3, only managed to block 27% of malware threats. To boot, Microsoft’s browser also managed to block 83% of phishing URLs, with Firefox finishing second with 80%.
But Ars Technica has cast doubts over the veracity of the tests. The heavily lopsided nature of the results is not the only thing to blame for its skepticism. Amy Barzdukas, General Manager of Internet Explorer, told Ars Technica that the tests had been sponsored by Microsoft. Apparently, it ended up becoming the lone sponsor, as other companies didn’t respond to NSS Labs’ call for funding. Microsoft claims to have had no control over the results.
"We invited Google, Mozilla, Apple, Opera to participate, but they didn’t even bother to respond, except for Opera, which stated they “don’t really focus on malware," NSS Labs’ president, Rick Moy, told Ars Technica.