Mozilla Web browsers are potentially more vulnerable to attack than Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to a Symantec report.
But the report, released Monday, also found that hackers are still focusing their efforts on IE.
The open-source Mozilla Foundation browsers, such as the popular Firefox, have typically been seen as more secure than IE, which has suffered many security problems in the past. Mitchell Baker, president of the foundation, said earlier this year that its browsers were fundamentally more secure than IE. She also predicted that Mozilla Foundation browsers would not face as many problems as IE, even as their market share grows.
Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report Volume VIII contains data for the first six months of this year that may contradict this perception.
According to the report, 25 vendor-confirmed vulnerabilities were disclosed for the Mozilla browsers during the first half of 2005, "the most of any browser studied," the report's authors stated. Eighteen of these flaws were classified as high severity.
"During the same period, 13 vendor-confirmed vulnerabilities were disclosed for IE, eight of which were high severity," the report noted.
The average severity rating of the vulnerabilities associated with both IE and Mozilla browsers in this period was classified as "high", which Symantec defined as "resulting in a compromise of the entire system if exploited."