Hackers prefer to use Firefox and Opera

Hackers prefer to use Firefox and Opera to launch their attacks, as well as defend themselves against other criminals, according to a report.

In a study by US security firm Purewire, criminals attempting to exploit flaws in other websites used Firefox 46 per cent of the time.

Opera was the second most popular browser with 26 per cent, much higher than the browser's usual share for average web users. In March, Net Applications said Opera had a 0.68 to 0.70 per cent share of the global market.

Paul Royal, a security researcher for Purewire, made the discovery after analysing exploit kits, which are used to target flaws in browsers and operating systems.

According to media reports, Royal believed hackers were more likely to use Opera as they knew that the browser wasn't likely to be targeted by other hackers.