Like Internet Explorer in its “glory” days, Google Chrome has fallen victim to its own success, with everyone from bored students to hacker groups backed with virtually unlimited resources by the world’s governments looking for vulnerabilities ready to exploit in large-scale cyber attacks.
According to a report published by Atlas VPN, Google Chrome leads the web browsers with the most vulnerabilities, with no less than 303 exploits discovered this year alone.
Although it uses its own web rendering engine (Gecko), and the incomparably smaller number of users makes it less attractive to hacker groups, Mozilla Firefox is an undesirable runner-up in this top, with no less than 117 newly discovered vulnerabilities in 2022.
Arguably dragged down by the chromium engine it shares with rival Chrome, the Edge browser comes in third with 103 vulnerabilities discovered. Still, Microsoft should be commended for its success in keeping the browser pre-installed on all Windows PCs three times more secure than Google’s solution.
Benefiting directly from the native security of the iOS/Mac OS platform, Apple’s Safari ranks a comfortable 4th, with 26 vulnerabilities discovered.
Appearing as a total surprise, the Opera browser seems the ideal choice for fully secure web browsing, with zero confirmed vulnerabilities in 2022. However, this success could have a trivial explanation, namely that Opera is completely “unappealing” to hackers discouraged by the very small number of users they could target with the exploits discovered.
However, despite the numerous vulnerabilities discovered, in practice the situation does not look bad for the Chrome browser, with Google promptly intervening to close them every time, distributing the relevant updates.