Internet Explorer is best at protecting against drive-by downloads

is better at defending against drive-by downloads than competitors' browsers and the contest isn't even close, according to a worldwide test of browsers by research firm NSS Labs.

Internet Explorer scored a 99.2% protection score in the firm's most recent test of socially engineered malware distribution, with Google Chrome coming in a distant second with 13.2%.

Trailing behind it were Safari and Firefox tying with 7.6% each, and Opera pulling up last with 6.1%.


NSS tried to access URLs known to download malware to computers used by site visitors and kept track of whether browser protections warned or blocked against these sites using in-the-cloud databases of known malicious sites.

The report, "Web Browser Security, Socially Engineered Malware Protection," credits 's SmartScreen URL and Application Reputation features with landing the big score.