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Author Frei, Stefan ♦ Duebendorfer, Thomas ♦ Plattner, Bernhard
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword Web browser ♦ Update
Abstract Although there is an increasing trend for attacks against popular Web browsers, only little is known about the actual patch level of daily used Web browsers on a global scale. We conjecture that users in large part do not actually patch their Web browsers based on recommendations, perceived threats, or any security warnings. Based on HTTP useragent header information stored in anonymized logs from Google's web servers, we measured the patch dynamics of about 75% of the world's Internet users for over a year. Our focus was on the Web browsers Firefox and Opera. We found that the patch level achieved is mainly determined by the ergonomics and default settings of built-in auto-update mechanisms. Firefox' auto-update is very effective: most users installed a new version within three days. However, the maximum share of the latest, most secure version never exceeded 80% for Firefox users and 46% for Opera users at any day in 2007. This makes about 50 million Firefox users with outdated browsers an easy target for attacks. Our study is the result of the first global scale measurement of the patch dynamics of a popular browser.
Description Affiliation: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) / Google Switzerland GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland (Frei, Stefan; Duebendorfer, Thomas; Plattner, Bernhard)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1993-07-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review (CCRV)
Volume Number 39
Issue Number 1
Page Count 7
Starting Page 16
Ending Page 22


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Source: ACM Digital Library