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Symantec: Mozilla Suffers Twice The Flaws Of IE

Mozilla's popular Firefox browser has been subjected to nearly double the vulnerabilities of Microsoft's leading Internet Explorer, Symantec said Monday as it released its semi-annual report on the state of Internet security and threats against personal computers.

According to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, which used stats from January through June, 2005, Mozilla's browsers suffered from 25 vendor-confirmed bugs in the first six months of the year. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, was pegged with only 13.

Of Mozilla's 25 vulnerabilities, 18, or 72 percent, were tagged as "high severity," up from the 14 most-severe flaws disclosed in the last half of 2004. Meanwhile, IE's total of 13 was fewer than half the 31 made public in the last six months of last year.

"Firefox's vulnerabilities are almost double that of IE," said Oliver Friedrichs, the senior manager of Symantec's security response research team. "[But] when you take a step back, two factors make that less severe."

First, he said, is that by nature IE vulnerabilities pose more problems to more people. "Because IE has a much larger base, a vulnerability within IE is far more widespread and generally has a much more severe impact than those in the Mozilla family," acknowledged Friedrichs.

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