Chrome, Safari, and Office top “Dirty Dozen” list of vulnerable apps

Google is no stranger to being at the top of lists, but this is one list it probably wouldn’t mind being left off. Security company Bit9 has announced its fourth annual “Dirty Dozen Apps List” ranking applications based on number of reported security vulnerabilities. Google’s Chrome Web browser took the top dubious honor this year with 76 vulnerabilities reported. Apple’s Safari Web browser and Microsoft’s Office came in second and third with 60 and 57 security bugs attributed respectively.

It’s not likely that Google anticipated Chrome – the youngest of the Web browsers on the list – topping the “Dirty Dozen” ranking, however the company did recently announce a program awarding up to $3,337 in cash to hackers who successfully uncover any new vulnerabilities in the Chrome browser.

Web browsers made up a large chunk of the list taking five spots with Mozilla’s Firefox (51 reported vulnerabilities), Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (32), and Opera (6) joining Chrome and Safari.

Apple aficionados may be a little surprised to see the company among the “Dirty Dozen” with products appearing a total of three times on the list. In addition to the Safari browser at number two, Apple’s WebKit ranked number 10 and QuickTime tied for 12th place with nine and six flaws reported respectively. As the report points out, Apple products have long been perceived as among the most secure on the market. Internet Explorer and Office were the two Microsoft products featured on the list.

The ranking was compiled from a vulnerability database maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The score was determined by number of serious security flaws reported between the dates of Jan. 1 and Oct. 21 2010. That very well means that some issues may have already been addressed by updates and patches released by companies throughout the year.

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