In their FAQ, Mozilla answers with the following five points (annotated by me):
It is not integrated with Windows, which helps prevent viruses and hackers from causing damage if they somehow manage to compromise Firefox.
Firefox, like IE, has access to system files, the registry, the system environment and memory. This makes a Firefox vulnerability just as compromising as an IE vulnerability.
There is no support for VBScript and ActiveX, two technologies which are the reasons for many IE security holes.
No spyware/adware software can automatically install in Firefox just by visiting a web site.
Interesting - it was only the other night that a clever bit of Java managed to break it's sandbox in Firefox and almost wrote to my registry. Luckily, anti-virus software identified it just in time (it was the ByteVerify trojan).
Firefox doesn't use Microsoft's Java VM, which has a history of more flaws than other Java VMs.
See above - I think I prefer MS's Java VM already... the ByteVerify trojan doesn't affect me at all in IE
You have complete control over cookies.
How curious to see this comparison when Internet Explorer actually has a more powerful cookie-management feature than Firefox. In particular it has privacy zones, compact privacy policies, algorithms to detect personal info being disclosed in cookies, per-site enabling/disabling, full cookie browsing and more.
So, again, Mozilla is responsible for disinformation about Internet Explorer in order to promote their own product. If they were a commercial entity, they would already be in court under libel litigation.
(10 years ago)
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