back to article Firefox flaws make up 44% of all browser bugs?

Firefox flaws accounted for nearly half (44 per cent) of all browser bugs in the first half of 2009 - according to a survey which fails to factor in the seriousness of browser flaws. A study by web application security firm Cenzic makes a decent fist of providing an overview of server-side web, but blots its copy-book with a …


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  1. MarkOne

    Proof yet again.

    Opera is the fastest, most secure, most standards compliant and most innovative browser.

    Honestly, why are people using anything else?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    why not opera?

    Because it lacks noscript and a proper adblock, and thus is annoying to use. Next?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Underlying OS time bombs

    Internet Explorer 7, and 8 still has a bug.

    Cenzic obviously didn't go for the longest running open bug. But I ain't here to pound on Cenzic, I doubt I could do much better for a study. But come on Microsoft fix it already. Considering the damn thing is built into the friggin OS and you can't downgrade it or remove it without leaving your system in a highly unstable state.

    Oh and while we're here Microsoft, why is it Digidesign Protools won't run if IE8 is installed? You managed to limit running my MBOX2 with only the driver on Magix! Although Magix is nice, it is not protools.

  4. GregC


    Opera may or may not be any or all of those things, but I'm using FF because it's got the plugins I need, it's open source, and I like it. By contrast, I don't like Opera. (and yes, I have tried it along with Chrome and Safari - in fact they're all still installed, I choose to use FF because it's better for me).

    Bloody Operatards, getting as bad as the Mac lot...

  5. Dale 3

    I wonder... this article would have gone if it had been IE at 44%

  6. Robert Moore

    I wonder

    I wonder if IE bugs are just not reported because everyone knows Microsoft won't bother to fix them anyway.

  7. James O'Brien


    Because its shit and if we were to use it we become whiny just like Opera?

  8. Geoff Mackenzie


    I tried it on my workstation. The box starts Firefox 3.5 in less than 2 seconds from cold and runs it fairly fast. Opera took over 10s to start on this machine and was (or at least felt) far slower. It's odd, because Opera definitely used to perform better on a Windows box I used to have, and Firefox starts surprisingly slowly on my work Windows XP machine, but there you have it.

    Also, with few exceptions, if I can't have the source, I don't want the software.

  9. Captain Thyratron

    Re: Proof yet again.

    It's fine if you're in Windows. Elsewhere, it's even worse than Firefox, and likes to do cute things like vomit plugin wrappers everywhere until seven of them are sharing 98% of your CPU, or explode and dump core if you close a webpage that happens to contain a simple Java applet. The only browser beyond Windows I think I'd rather use less is probably VMS Mosaic (though, admittedly, VMS Mosaic crashes far less often.)

  10. Ebeneser


    Gimme a break ... yawn ... and wake me up when there's some real news again ...

  11. the spectacularly refined chap

    Bugs and vulnerabilties

    You criticise the report for failing to distinguish between minor and major issues, but this article is guilty of an even greater glossing over of details. It interchanges between terming the problems vulnerabilities and bugs without any regard to the notion that these are different quantities: a vulnerability is probably a bug but the reverse in not necessarily true.

    Until it is firmly established precisely what is being measured any discussion or analysis is completely meaningless.

  12. A J Stiles

    I will install Opera .....

    ..... The day they release the Source Code.

    I was taught never to eat a piece of food if it didn't have the ingredients on the packet, and I wouldn't treat my computer any differently.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I prefer to use Opera for general browsing, but it needs noscript and adblock type add-ons for me to use it on secure sites these days - so I stick with firefox for those.

    Paris - insecure site, so Opera o/k here....

  14. FreeTard
    Thumb Up


    I must agree, I'm forever (well the odd time) seeing oops, we fecked up FF will restart and we apologise or some other pile of crap excuse.

    never happened with earlier releases, and yes I am on 3.5.5 and yes it happened this morning...

    I still like it though.

  15. Dick Emery


    ...the problem a lot of the time with FF going tits up is not FF itself but the addons it uses.

  16. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    @A J Stiles

    Got the source code for you computers BIOS have you? Thought not. How about the circuit diagrams for all the chips on your motherboard? I take it also, that you won't go and eat in a restaurant until you can see them preparing the food in front of you all the way from basic ingredients, performing such actions as milking cows and threshing and milling grain?

    Don't get me wrong, I can fully understand why you might want the source code for the software you are running, but if you think this is some sort of fundamental right, you're as crazy as any fundie religious nutjob.

  17. Ross 7


    I do use Opera, but mainly because the last time I used FF it was pretty poor in comparison. Then I just stuck with it.

    The adblock thing is do-able, but I totally agree it's much more work than on FF. If they sorted that out it'd be great.

    I don't really care about source code availabilty - if you want to know how it works get a copy of IDA Pro.

    As far as I can tell the main web exploits tend to be PDF/SWF related anyway, so regardless of which browser you use I;d be more worried about keeping your PDF reader and Flash player up to date.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Evil Microsoft

    Microsofts fault. The hacked into the Firefox source code and introduced the bugs ON PURPOSE!!!

    They are evil, just trying to deflect attention away for their own browser's bugs.

  19. Subban

    Opera would be ok, if...

    .. it had a decent adblock and noscript.

    Without those I cannot see it ever really being taken seriously by too many folks. With them and the browser landscape might be looking a littlle different.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have that error mostly when using Flash, I hate it now, flash is almost as annoying as Java is.

    As Chrome go on and on about, its the plugins they have most problems dealing with, and its a problem for a lot of developers.

    Look at what Microsoft tried to do with their driver signing to weed out dodgy drivers that crash their system, people just ignore the signing and carry on their business. Not that I favour Microsoft in anyway (I'm a Linux advocate, mostly) but it isn't ALWAYS their fault.

    And just like this report, how many bugs are severe, how many are related to various plug ins, and how quickly were they resolved on average... .

    We also need to consider the benefits against the cons. If you want a browser with less bugs, you could try links, but then you have no graphics (generally speaking)... but who wants that? I'll take the risk thank you, and add my common sense.

  21. Fihart

    Opera Crashes

    Am I alone in having Opera crash -- I love its speed and I like the interface but after the latest version crashed just like the previous release I'm back with Firefox. Slow but sure.

  22. magnetik

    @A J Stiles

    "I was taught never to eat a piece of food if it didn't have the ingredients on the packet, and I wouldn't treat my computer any differently."

    I take it you've never eaten in a restaurant then, or trusted anyone else to make you a meal.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @ no adblock.

    There is something called "privoxy" which will work for opera, crome or even IE if for some reason you have to use it.

  24. CC


    Heres' why you use your browser.

    Opera: because you love a browser that almost works

    Firefox: works on the things Opera doesn't

    Chrome: because it is faster than both the above without the hangups of Opera

    Safari: because you love blaa looking things

    IE: this is for the people who don't close the door behind them, who never put the toilet seat down and love a browser that has a giant WELCOME sign for every bit and piece of Malware and Virus.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Re: why not opera?

    "Because it lacks noscript and a proper adblock"

    Wrong. It has NoScript built in, and adblock can be done in many ways, such as:

  26. Anonymous Coward

    @James O'Brien

    Funny, you seem to be rather whiny already. Somehow it seems hypocritical to be that whiny about Opera :D

  27. C Yates

    RE: I will install Opera ..... (@ AJ Stiles)

    "... was taught never to eat a piece of food if it didn't have the ingredients on the packet"

    While I agree with the sentiment, I'm wildly curious to know if you're a Windows user =D

    I myself am moving away from FF now - every time I start it the b*stard wants to update, it crashes more than IE8. IE8 is okay (still amazed they got a browser to meet some standards!), but feels a bit 'clunky' and a lot of the *bonus* features just make it more annoying than even IE6 was...

    Nah, at the risk of being ridiculed, I have to say I love Chrome. It's fast, has some nice features and doesn't take up half the screen with b*llocks toolbars that nobody uses.

    nuff said

  28. raving angry loony


    Last time I tried Opera, it lasted a total of 2 minutes before crashing the first time. Never lasted more than 4 minutes before crashing. Opera? Not for me thanks.

    Firefox has AdBlock and NoScript. I'd probably try other browsers, but will continue to use Firefox so long as other browsers continue to treat my screen as the playground of self-fellating marketing idiots who still think "blink" and "jitter" is a good idea. My screen, my rules. If web designers don't like it, they can stop serving ads created by assholes.

  29. Michael Martin

    News: Study gives interesting results!

    Not news: Results are intentionally flawed and misrepresented!

    Fark: Results show the exact opposite of the intended message!

    Seriously, the fact that there are lots of Firefox bugs reported is a GOOD thing. It means 1) the browser is getting used, 2) the people using it are interested in its success enough to report the bugs, and 3) the bugs will actually get fixed - unlike the bugs in IE which will get fixed when MS decides it's economically advantageous.

  30. HansG


    erm, am I the only one that got the sarcasm in MarkOne's post? NM

    Just because there are more bugs reported for FF, doesn't mean it's the most insecure, surely the opposite applies. How many bugs remain in IE and other closed source browsers that don't have the huge team of people working on closing holes in FF??

  31. Bob Gateaux
    Thumb Up

    IE is only choice in business world

    In our company we must have IE because we need the security that comes with not having the open source. Open sources are good for the student hackers who plays with his simple codes in his bedrooms but for our proper businesses it must never be the option.

    Also Firefox suffers us with the obviously problems of a Jav platform, while Safari and Opera have the niche codes without the support we need, and Chrome has the spam adverts built in, so IE is our best choice.

  32. Deadly_NZ


    Well it's nice to see that someone has crunched the numbers and FF has the most bugs... Well now how about another number crunch on the company that fixed the most flaws in it's browser I'll bet you that IE will be the worst of the lot and FF will be at the top... I am using the 3.6 beta 1 and I have NOT had one crash/lockup/failure of even 1 tab not too bad at all Damn and you just gotta love adblock and no script...

  33. SilverWave

    Open Source? 300,000,000+ users?


    >Opera is the fastest, most secure, most standards compliant and most innovative browser.

    >Honestly, why are people using anything else?

    Here are my reasons, in no particular order.


    Open Source? No? > Fail

    So 300,000,000+ users have _chosen_ to use Firefox how many have chosen to use Opera? hmmm.

    Last time I tried it was was crap (long time ago).


    I love Firefox and have a lot of experience with, it is fast and secure so why would I want to change?

    I have built the perfect browser (FF+30 extensions) which is completely customized to my needs.

    I associate Opera with the words, Losers, Proprietary and Unpopular.

    What is your market share again - is it over 1% yet?

    Whoops - there is lots more but I have run out of time... :D

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Inserting WHAT???!?

    One of the bug fixes in the latest version of Mozilla means that this browser will no longer be inserting multiple children without flushing.

    Most unhygienic, as well as being something one could be arrested for. Anon for obvious reasons.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.....

    More media hype.

    More industry spin.

    More "my browsers better than your browser" Trolls.

    88.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot anyway (and if you google it, you'll find the value varies by which occasion Vic Reeves was asked the question)

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @James O'Brien

    Funny how you equate "fastest, most secure, most standards compliant and most innovative" with 'shit' whilst loving the browser with the biggest share of holes.

    Someone should trawl through all the comments from the last 5 years to remind us of what things the Firefox fanboys have said about IE having more holes than anyone else, or that the only reason holes started appearing in Firefox because it was more popular and thus a target.

    Well Firefox still has a tiny share compared to IE, yet IE has a proportionally much smaller share of the holes, taking market share into account, let alone the raw numbers.

    Why is Firefox so swiss cheese full of holes when it's whole reason for being is security based on new legacy-free code written in an era where exploits are expected?

    IE took over 10 years to get there. Firefox has managed it in 5. It still doesn't pass the Acid3 test despite being so bloated and slow.

    And for the other fanboy who uses the pittiful attempt to excuse Firefox's security record by blaming Opera for not having noscript, that's like a MS shrill blaming Opera for IE's track record because Opera doesn't have Active-X. Seriously - you're defending Firefox with the argument you attacked IE for years ago.

    And it really does speak volumes when all a fanboy can reply to some independent facts is "Yeah well YOUR SHIT, so ner!"

    I don't care what Opera or Safari do or don't do: Firefox accounts for 44% of all browser bugs, the biggest single slice - fact.

    Now why and how? Open source was supposed to mean a situation like this could never happen. It makes you wonder why Google went off and created Chrome. I think Firefox has some serious long term survival worries if Google are going to stop paying for it and the public have their confidence shaken. I also predict it will reach a 50% share of browser security bugs.

  37. ZenCoder

    Firefox 3.5 freezes for me on OSX.

    Safari sucks ...

    Firefox freezes, sometimes just for a few seconds, sometimes I have to force quit.

    Opera is incompatible with the Ajax on a sites I use on a daily basis.

    So for OSX Firefox wins by default and I end up force quitting 3-4 times a week.

  38. Holo808


    That's funny! I'm quite fond of my Firefox! The fastest I've ever experienced and a critique I am, I am , I am!=)

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @ DeFex

    Yes but Privoxy isn't as easy to use as Ad Block Plus is it?.

    It's a nice idea sure but like so much open source software they insist you read a bunch of arcane help files before it makes any sense. With half the help files being taken up by the usual "reading help files is so important" posturing that these people love to put in their help files to obfuscate the real information.

    It's like they have a captive audience so they fill the help pages with all manner of pointless guff that no one in a million years would read if the developer published it in his blog where it belongs.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @raving angry loony

    "Last time I tried Opera, it lasted a total of 2 minutes before crashing the first time."

    That's 1.5 minutes more than Firefox, and 1 minute more than Chrome on my computer.

    "Firefox has AdBlock and NoScript."

    As do Opera and Chrome.

    "I'd probably try other browsers, but will continue to use Firefox so long as other browsers continue to treat my screen as the playground of self-fellating marketing idiots who still think "blink" and "jitter" is a good idea."

    So you are blaming the browser for ads on web sites? Wow, that's rich. The ignorance is amazing.

  41. Defiant


    "Firefox flaws make up 44% of all browser bugs?"

    LMAO, the Firefox sheep are going to love this

  42. Daniel Warner

    Open Source??

    Who really cares if it's open source or not? Allowing some spotty teenager access to the source code so he can add his favourite little feature is not a good thing in my books. If a program works better/faster/more securely I will use it, whether it's open source or proprietary.

    I see most FF fanbois on here going on about Noscript and Ad-block being the main reason they use it. Those 'features' are available on IE, Opera (It's built in actually if you'd bothered to look) and even Chrome/Safari.

    Why do people on this subject feel they have to judge and ridicule others just because they use a different browser to them? Just grow up people!

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Open Source? 300,000,000+ users?


    "So 300,000,000+ users have _chosen_ to use Firefox how many have chosen to use Opera?"

    GREAT argument! Billions of flies have chosen to eat manure. That means YOU MUST FOLLOW THE CROWD AND DO IT TOO, right?

    "I associate Opera with the words, Losers, Proprietary and Unpopular."

    Yeah, I bet someone who thinks it's very important to follow the rest of the sheep herd would do that.

    "What is your market share again - is it over 1% yet?"

    3-4% globally, 10% in Europe. But there you go again with the "I must follow the other sheep" mentality.

    You might as well stick with Firefox. Or better yet, MSIE.

  44. MarkOne

    re: why not opera?

    It's not our fault you are clueless and don't know how to enable it.

    Opera has by default (no extensions needed).


    GreaseMonkey (called userJS in Opera)

    NoScript (you can switch java, javascript sound, and plugins like flash on selective, or all sites)

  45. MarkOne

    Crappy systems.

    Seems many of these "IT experts" either aren't smart enough to use Opera features and fall into the "if there isn't a toolbar button for it, i won't be able to find it, and will dumbly assume it's not there" crowd.

    They also have either low-spec PCs and/or filled with malware, as on my modest PC, Opera starts in the blink of an eyelid, and has NEVER crashed on me.

    Still I suppose it's easy to claim that something crashes or starts slow, or is missing some magical feature that you are willing to risk your systems security by not having, if it means you can keep your open source crap.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MarkOne in Opera fanboi shocker.

  47. SilverWave

    300,000,000+ users have _chosen_ to use Firefox

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 11th November 2009 08:42 GMT

    >GREAT argument! ...That means YOU MUST FOLLOW THE CROWD AND DO IT TOO, right?

    Well I was really pointing out that 300M users had went out of their way to choose an alternative browser to IE and liked FF but not Opera.

    Now I can see from your previous post that logic and clear thinking are not among your strong points, so I will endeavor to present this in a form you can understand:

    300M people say Yes to Firefox :)

    300M people say No to Opera :P

    Now you _could_ see that lack of popularity for Opera as proving that all those 300M were wrong, ignorant and stupid... or as I argue, it more likely proves that FF is the better product :)

    I notice you had nothing to say re my points on Opera being a propriety product...

    Nor on the wide range of extensions offered by FF.

    I have been using FF3.5 for some time now with 30 extensions which completely customize my browsing experience, it never crashes, it is fast responsive and secure. Given all of that I really cant see much of a future for Opera especially with the pressure from Chrome.

    Of course once you turn 13 or 14 your views will likely mature as you do.

  48. MarkOne


    The whole point of this item, is that it identifies Firefox is not a better browser, it also highlights that having the source open makes it easier to fix, is a myth. As the stats clearly show, Firefox is a unreliable mess.

    Anyone that uses Firefix (as it's now known), and can be honest, rather than one of the OpenSource nuts that frequent with their Microsoft-like FUD and spin (anyone see the irony there..), will admit that Firefix is a huge bloated memory/resource hog, that has only got it's userbase because it promoted itself off the back of Microsoft's early IE misfortunes and Opera's innovations.

  49. Steve 72

    Use what you want

    If you ignore stats like this and what Secunia can confirm, you'll get what you deserve.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    @SilverWave: 300,000,000+ users have NOT chosen to use Firefox

    > 300M people say Yes to Firefox :)

    > 300M people say No to Opera :P

    This is highly illogical, and of course factually wrong. But it does fit nicely in with your herd mentality.

    First of all, 300 million people have not necessarily said yes to Firefox. Some businesses and organizations have made Firefox mandatory. Also, a lot of people have replaced IE with Firefox on their friends' computers, meaning that all these people never actually chose to use Microsoft.

    Lastly, you are assuming that anyone not using Opera has actually tried it and decided not to use it. As always your logic fails.

    > Now you _could_ see that lack of popularity for Opera

    > as proving that all those 300M were wrong, ignorant

    > and stupid... or as I argue, it more likely proves that

    > FF is the better product :)

    No, I am merely pointing out that popularity != quality, and just because a lot of people are doing something doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do.

    > I notice you had nothing to say re my points on Opera

    > being a propriety product...

    There's no point in trying to reason with irrational zealots. Never mind the fact that you are using lots of proprietary applications all the time. But all of this will fall on deaf ears when it comes to people like you.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Fanning the Flames of a Fanboi Fight....

    Reasons to use Opera:

    Or is that just why every FF user howls at the thought of not using NoScript and AdBlock?


    I know, I'll use a product that doesn't do what I want unless I hunt down extra stuff to fix it.


    Also, note to FF fanbois: Opera uses don't care about their browser being closed-source. In fact, the vast majority of Web users don't care.

    Finally, shall we include mobile browser and console browser stats? I think Opera whups Fennec in that respect (assuming Mozilla can actually slim down FF so it works on mobiles).

  52. Mark Butler

    Jesus christ, what is wrong with you guys?

    If bugs are reported and then fixed, then that's a GOOD THING.

    If bugs are undisclosed, and treated in the wrong manner, then that's a BAD THING.

    Just because Firefox had 44% of all bugs, it doesn't make it less stable if those bugs get fixed in a timely manner. Especially if the browser is auto-updating, too. If people choose to not upgrade, then that is their problem, and doesn't reflect badly on Firefox.

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