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5/25/2010
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IE 6 Accounts For More Than One-Fourth Of All Enterprise Web Traffic

But use of the aged and vulnerable version of Internet Explorer gradually declining, report says

The aging and oft-targeted Internet Explorer 6 browser remains surprisingly prolific in enterprises, while Google services are the main conduit for malware, according to a new report on the state of Internet security.

The Zscaler report found IE 6 usage starting to decline in the first quarter of this year, however, from 33.46 percent of all Web traffic in January to 31.5 percent in February to 26.93 percent in March.

"Microsoft is still supporting IE 5 because there is such a large number of users using it. This is a dilemma for Microsoft," says Mike Geide, senior researcher for Zscaler, which released the "State of the Web Q1 2010: A View of the Web From An End User's Perspective" report today.

The recent zero-day attack in the wake of the Operation Aurora appears to have prompted many IE users to upgrade to the more secure IE 8, which wasn't affected by the Aurora bug, according to Zscaler. IE 8 adoption jumped from 5.79 percent in January to 8.65 percent in February, and then to 10 percent in March, the report says.

Overall, IE traffic accounted for about 75 percent of all Web traffic in enterprises in Q1, albeit on the decline: 76.6 percent in January, 75.26 in February, and 74.39 percent in March. "Both Firefox and Chrome appear to have benefitted somewhat from the ground lost by Microsoft, though both have a long way to go before becoming dominant placers within enterprises, as combined they only have approximately 12 percent market share," Zscaler said in its report. Meanwhile, Google search, Gmail, Blogs, and Groups were among the most blocked pages serving up malicious content, according to the report, behind ThePlanet, an infamous hosting provider associated with cybercrime. The Google services accounted for around 4,200 malicious sites installing malware on victims' machines, and ThePlanet, more than 10,600 sites.

Zscaler also found the U.S. hosts most of the good and bad/malicious Web content, with 68.11 percent of all malicious websites. Central and South America are becoming a hotbed for bad sites as well, according to the report, which can be downloaded here.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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