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About Microsoft’s IE9 Malware Blocking Results


Yesterday, I read an article that reported how our counterparts at Sophos “slammed Microsoft” over its reported malware blocking stats for SmartScreenR Application Reputation built-in Internet Explorer (IE) 7, 8, and 9.

This issue was much too interesting for me to not follow up with my own thoughts.

Having also read the Microsoft blog article as well as media reports, I was enticed to run a few checks.

I took a look at Trend Micro’s own internal competitive benchmarking results. As you can see from the chart below, of those companies whose products we tested against, the security company closest to Trend Micro’s own blocking rate was, in fact, Kaspersky.

In our test, IE9 achieved a less than 10 percent success rate for malicious URL blocking. So, while we cannot comment on the exact methodology used in Microsoft’s own tests, we have to agree with Sophos’ questioning of the rather surprising results Microsoft published.


Note: Internal benchmarking results (Figure 1) updated to include additional company (May 25, 9:07 PM UTC-7).

We recognize that our readers will also want to see other supporting evidence other than Trend Micro’s internal results. As such, we have also included a chart showing AV Test.Org’s results from a test conducted this January. The full report and more details on which can be found on our Competitive Benchmarks pages.


While these results may seem to present a slightly different picture than our internal benchmarking, I do view these as concrete supporting information for the true effectiveness of the Microsoft solution, particularly because we headed the leader board for the seventh straight month in a row.

I am certainly looking forward to seeing how SmartScreenR Application Reputation in IE9 behaves in future third-party tests.

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