Nearly half (45.2 per cent) of all internet surfers neglect to regularly update their browser software. Slackness in applying updates in a timely fashion leaves an estimated 637 million surfers vulnerable to drive-by download attacks, according to a new survey.

Figures in the survey come from a study of user-agent data collected by Google’s web search and application servers and analyzed by security researchers from IBM's ISS security division, Google and ETH Zurich University.

The security researchers reckon browser makers could improve internet security by taking a leaf from the book of food manufactures and applying a "best before" date to browser and plug-in software. The theory is that a built-in expiry date would ensure that more users update in a timely fashion.

The Register - John Leyden July 3, 2008

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