Is Chrome Unsafe?

Google Inc. 99,87 -0,96 -0,95% Chrome is the most popular browser amongst non-mobile users. With that being said so far in 2022 there have been a lot of vulnerabilities (303 to be exact). Yes, that is a lot. However, given Chrome is the most popular browser it is only natural hackers/scammers are going to go out of their way to find exploits to maximize their profits. This is the same reason Microsoft Corporation 250,20 -4,82 -1,89% Window’s has always been the primary target for OS exploits because of the larger user base.

When the World Wide Web took off in the mid 90’s, long before Chrome in 2008, Firefox in 2004 or Even Safari (for Apple) in 2003 there was Microsoft’s Internet Explore, Netscape Navigator and Opera (which was not free until the 5.0 release in 2000). At that time, Netscape had the biggest market share until Microsoft integrated Internet Explorer with Windows starting with Windows 95. Once this happened Netscape’s market share shrunk rapidly and by 1999 Internet Explorer had 99% of the market share. Since so few people were using Netscape, the majority of the exploits were with Internet Explorer.

Between 1 January 2022 and 5 October 2022, Atlas VPN reports that 303 vulnerabilities were discovered for Chrome, compared to 117 for Mozilla Firefox, 103 for Microsoft Edge, 26 for Safari and none for Opera.

Consequently, this is not purely a numbers game. Yes, much, much lower numbers — like those reported for Safari — are a good thing, but it is unknown vulnerabilities which carry the greatest threat. Vulnerabilities which go undetected and unreported, all the while being exploited.

Looking at the above table Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are the two most popular browsers. Safari ‘fanbase’ is within the Apple users even though they did release a Windows version back in 2007, it never really caught on. Microsoft Edge is the ‘default’ or pre-installed browser (except in the EU) for Windows PCs and most people end up installing their favorite browser anyway (unless they are running Windows 10 or 11 in S Mode). Opera I was not even aware was still around.

I compare this hype/mis-direction about the vulnerabilities discovered in Chrome to the way the US media has with the ‘spin’ in reporting the record number of illegals stopped at the US border this year. Isn’t it a good thing that these illegals are being stopped at the border before they were to enter into the country? Then isn’t it also good that these vulnerabilities in Chrome are being discovered (and patched)? Nonetheless, the most important thing user can do to protect themselves (regardless of their browser choice) is to keep their browsers up-to-date. Something Chrome (and Firefox too) are very good at when it comes to informing users they need to update their browser.

via Forbes: Gordon Kelly