Friday, December 16th 2011

NSS Labs Accuses Google of Undertaking Campaign to Knock Firefox Off The Market

Google Chrome is a fast and functional web browser. Let's get that out of the way first. But one of the main reasons a largely successful corporation put resources into developing a web-browser into a market that isn't very profitable, is cost-cutting. Since it's inception, the search bar Mozilla Firefox came with, has Google as its default search provider. Every time people search using that search bar in Firefox, Mozilla Foundation makes money. It is estimated that these Google searches amount to a majority of Mozilla's revenue, as Google pays it as much as 50 million dollars an year. Google Chrome, despite its genuine merits, is a cost-cutting operation. The more people use it over Firefox, the less Google has to pay Mozilla.

Web security researchers have historically rated Google Chrome has having the worst security and privacy compared to Firefox, and Internet Explorer (read this, and here), but the most recent research by Denver-based security consultancy Accuvant claimed that Google Chrome has the best security and privacy features, while Mozilla Firefox has the worst. Want to hear the kicker? That research by Accuvant was funded by Google. Want to hear another one? A similar research firm that has historically done vendor-funded research, NSS Labs, voiced strong objections to Accuvant's research, calling it an all-out attempt to malign Mozilla Firefox.

NSS Labs has, in the past, done similar security "research" paid for by Microsoft, to certify Internet Explorer 8 as the safest browser for online transactions. Vikram Phatak, the chief technology officer of NSS Labs, in an interview, said this about Accuvant's research: "This is a vendor-funded paper, and in these cases, the vendor is going to drive the methodology [of the testing], which appears to be the case here." He goes on to call the research, hence, "skewed toward Chrome," alleging that the research overlooked many of Firefox's own security features. Pathak says that Google is going all-out to knock Mozilla Firefox out of the market. "Google paid for this report, and it's part of a marketing campaign that's probably aimed at Firefox to cut off Firefox's revenues, cut if off from the Safe Browsing service, and then put out a report that says Firefox is less secure than Chrome," he said.Source: ComputerWorld
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26 Comments on NSS Labs Accuses Google of Undertaking Campaign to Knock Firefox Off The Market

#1
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Bias! I call reporting bias! How dare you point out dirty tricks by one company over another! :eek::eek: (and in the end, screwing the consumer, who's stuck in the middle)

But seriously, it's good to know the reason why a company is spending significant money in developing a product that's "free". It's also good to know where Mozilla is getting all that revenue from, for a "free" product.

Thanks for posting this and we want to see more like it. ;)
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#2
entropy13
Google Chrome would never be the safest browser. Allowing a fully-working ABP and NoScript in Chrome would be shooting themselves on both of their feet, while taking arrows in both knees.
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: qubit
But seriously, it's good to know the reason why a company is spending significant money in developing a product that's "free".
Remember, if it's free, you're not the consumer, you're the product. :p
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#4
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: btarunr
Remember, if it's free, you're not the consumer, you're the product. :p
Oh f*! :eek: Kinda like Facebook. Damn, where did I put that tinfoil hat...
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#5
djisas
I tried chrome, but it certainly didnt live to its hype, there was a lack of everything i like on FF, so, long live Firefox...
Why would i want to replace a fully customized browser for one where i would have to go look for similar ads and stuff to get a close experience to that of ff??
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#6
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
the majority of people don't read those security research papers anyway, which is why IE is still the top dog. duh.
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#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Easy Rhino
the majority of people don't read those security research papers anyway, which is why IE is still the top dog. duh.
They don't read those security papers alright, but they do stand to get hammered by internet ads that scream "xyz is the safest browser, according to random research". Google already has a near monopoly with internet advertising, it would cost them nothing to give Chrome the biggest marketing campaign in the history of the internet. So that's the operational part of Google's slay-Mozilla campaign.
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#8
Fx
by: djisas
I tried chrome, but it certainly didnt live to its hype, there was a lack of everything i like on FF, so, long live Firefox...
Why would i want to replace a fully customized browser for one where i would have to go look for similar ads and stuff to get a close experience to that of ff??
eh, to each his own. I have tried it 3-4 times now and dont like it better than FF either though. to be fair, google has enabled a lot of customization since it launched

by: Easy Rhino
the majority of people don't read those security research papers anyway, which is why IE is still the top dog. duh.
it is still the top dog because it is bundled and the majority of people dont care to try another browser or are even aware of other browsers
Posted on Reply
#9
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Fx
eh, to each his own. I have tried it 3-4 times now and dont like it better than FF either though. to be fair, google has enabled a lot of customization since it launched



it is still the top dog because it is bundled and the majority of people dont care to try another browser or are even aware of other browsers
exactly. so obviously they don't read any of these reports because if they did then they would be more interested.
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#10
Arctucas
I prefer the customization ability of FF, and although Chrome may be 'faster', FF works just fine for me.
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#11
silkstone
I love Chrome and have been using it since it was first released. I never did care for FF, though after reading this i am inclined to change.
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#12
Steevo
I use internet explorer........to download firefox.

I used chrome on my new laptop last night......to download firefox.


I don't use the search bar in FF though, I use google.
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#13
Completely Bonkers
Chrome is a good browser... expect that once you install a few applets is begins hogging resources and memory. I can remember how fast Chrome was when I installed it. But now (new windows) open like treacle. Time for a rebuild. Maybe this isnt Chrome's fault, but Acrobat and Skype hooks. Usually is.
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#14
HalfAHertz
bta isn't telling the full story here. Google may be using your private data to to buy yachts and jet planes but Mozilla is fueling their browser engine by lighting baby foxes on fire! HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHERE THE NAME COMES FROM??? FIRE FOX > FOXES ON FIRE!!!

SAVE THE BABY FOXES - USE LYNX INSTEAD!1eleven

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#15
ensabrenoir
research firms: Which ones better? Whoever pays us the most
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#16
Steevo
Any browser is OK untill.


Adobe
Java
Office
Live


and the plethora of crap installers that people install with all their freeware.
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#17
INSTG8R
Meh I mean I will admit to never trying Chrome. I just got pissed when Google killed it's Toolbar for FF. I still manage to hold onto it on my Laptop using compatibility tricks. But I have lost it forever on my Desktop Rig.
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#18
ACEkombatkiwi
by: INSTG8R
Meh I mean I will admit to never trying Chrome. I just got pissed when Google killed it's Toolbar for FF. I still manage to hold onto it on my Laptop using compatibility tricks. But I have lost it forever on my Desktop Rig.
Google search is built into Fire Fox which is all you need. :)
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#19
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
wish more people would care about browser wars.

btw, bta, excellent news article. a text book balance of information and intelligent/reasoned opinion.
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#20
v12dock
In the real world is Chrome faster than Firefox and vise versa
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#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Firefox 8 = 1 Advisory with 1 Vulnerability Unpatched
Chrome 16 = 0 Advisories with 0 Vulnerabilities Reported
Firefox 7 = 4 Advisories with 17 Vulnerabilities All Unpatched
Chrome 15 = 4 Advisories with 36 Vulnerabilities 75% of them Patched

Notice the only one that reached higher than 1 bar on the security scale was Firefox. Also notice how they didn't even bother to fix any security issues with Firefox 7 while Google fixed several with Chrome. Firefox 8 and Chrome 16 are too new to really use as a gauge, so using the older versions gives a better picture, and I would say Chrome is more secure.

I also find it ironic that anyone that would have the balls to actually say IE8 was the safest(AKA Most Secure) browser would have the balls to talk about anyone else's finding as being fud...

NSS has to have the biggest pair of solid brass balls on the planet to say IE8 is the safest browser, then try to say a competitor's finds are BS!:laugh:

This is just a classic case of the Pot calling the Kettle black...
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#22
LittleLizard
Companies with "LOADS O MONEY" are known to do this. You can attract a new customer by either, making an appealing product, or destroying the appeal of the alternatives.
Still, that Chrome is actually a cost-saving measure for Google surprised me as i haven't considered that point of view.
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#23
WarraWarra
Between idiots Firefox 4~??? and Chrome I wish they both would destroy each other and bring back netscape navigator and firefox 1/2/3 not this BS we have today, so good for google kill firefox.
Have to use Wyzo just to get a decent web browser experience.

Google chrome, no thank you, don't want it will not use it and will destroy all my pc's that gets infected by that curse and firefox 4 to nightmare on elm street as well.

Would rather shove my twang into a spinning liquidizer than use anything from google except search and mail. Google cured me from Android as well. "android developer here"
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#24
Fx
by: Steevo
I use internet explorer........to download firefox.

I used chrome on my new laptop last night......to download firefox.


I don't use the search bar in FF though, I use google.
you just described my habits as well
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#25
Black Hades
by: Easy Rhino
wish more people would care about browser wars.
If that were hypothetically so Opera would have more users. If people cared about browser performance and all that.
When Chrome launched it was all about "Google's new kid on the block" the name sold more than what was under the hood. Admit it people.

Don't get me wrong, Chrome can be quite snappy, I'm just saying people cant always tell super fast from fast so they go with their favs. I think Chrome's UI is extremely limited, for productivity It's a no go, Firefox wins this round running circles against it.

I use Opera for 90% of my needs, best interface ergonomics hand down, blitz fast too. Only certain 3rd party Firefox plugins manage to rob it of it's productivity crown, plugins like FoxyProxy, AutoFormer 2 and a few others. And that's only because FF is popular and has more 3rd party content.
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