Adware Report: Firefox - a cure for spyware?

Is Mozilla's new web browser, Firefox, a cure against spyware?

We looked a little deeper and found that the answer is a definite 'no', despite some claims found on the internet.

A look at our logs indicates that Firefox is now the second most popular browser used to visit our site. While this is a distant second to Microsoft's Internet Explorer (6% using Firefox as compared to 89% using IE), Firefox still has a huge user base. And while most anti-spyware products actively protect against known backdoors in IE, few (if any?) do the same for Firefox. So for now, there are substantial opportunities for spyware companies willing to invest in a little R&D.

So our suspicion was that perhaps a few spyware companies, enterprising little devils that they are, are already targeting Firefox. And it appears we were right.

Although Mozilla claims that Firefox is immune to spyware because it doesn't load ActiveX controls (and other reasons), this doesn't appear to be a cure-all. Among the symptoms we found Firefox users suffering from:

* Adding new shortcuts (Shopping, Travel, etc)
* Removing all bookmarks
* Disabling themes

Furthermore, using Firefox won't help you in any way if you already have spyware running on your computer. This is because many spyware programs will automatically upgrade themselves and load even more spyware in the background, without having to go through your browser at all.


Firefox is an excellent browser and is (currently) less susceptible to spyware than Microsoft IE, it won't give you 100% immunization, and in fact, may become even more susceptible to spyware in the future because few anti-spyware companies are offering protection for Firefox users.

All articles and reviews are copyright 2004, Gooroo, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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