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Microsoft: IE8 barred 1 billion malware downloads

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July 23, 2010 2:37 PM PDT

Microsoft: IE8 barred 1 billion malware downloads

Internet Explorer 8, with the help of its SmartScreen Filter, has "blocked 1 billion attempts to download malware," Microsoft product manager James Pratt said in a blog post Friday. The SmartScreen Filter evaluates URLs and their associated servers. If the software recognizes a server as containing malicious content, it displays a warning, saying it's unsafe to browse to a respective site that could cause harm on the user's computer. The user is then given the option to continue to the page or go back to their home page without downloading any content.

According to Microsoft, the SmartScreen filter continues to improve. In August 2009, it blocked 70 million malware download attempts. At the time, just 15 percent of Web users were surfing with Internet Explorer 8. Today, Microsoft reported, nearly 26 percent of the Web population is using IE8, and the company's SmartScreen filter is blocking "five times more malware month on month" compared to August 2009.

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