Baddies prefer Firefox and Opera
Paul Royal from security firm Purewire has analysed which browsers are being used by the administrators of exploit websites. He was trying to learn about the preferences of those hackers who deliberately exploit security vulnerabilities in browsers for their own nefarious purposes. It will be no surprise to readers of The H to learn that Firefox was the most popular browser, since the Mozilla browser already accounts for over 60 per cent of our readership. What is surprising, however, is that Opera, with a mere three per cent share of the global market, is the browser-of-choice of 26 per cent of exploit operators. Even amongst our readership the Scandinavian browser has no more than a nominal presence of around three to four per cent.
Incidentally, The H's associate in Germany noticed the trick eight years ago. In the aggregate browser statistics for heise Online in April 2001, a reader left the following browser identification:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5) <script>alert('hi you');</script>