Internet Explorer
Microsoft Corp. executive Dean Hachamovitch demonstrates Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta version in San Francisco, California September 15, 2010. REUTERS

A recent study that claimed people who used Internet Explorer had low IQs now appears to have been a hoax.

Images found on the official Web site for AptiQuant, the company that conducted the research, are the same images found on the site of a French research company called Central Test, the BBC reports.

The study, titled "Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage," was performed on more than 100,000 people. The subjects were given an IQ test through the AptiQuant Web site, with special attention paid to which browser was used.

Individuals who used Internet Explorer (versions 6.0 to 9.0) had the lowest score on the cognitive test, while those who used the more sophisticated browsers like Opera and Camino scored the highest, according to the study.

Users on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari produced scores that were on average higher than Internet Explorer users, but lower than Opera and Camino users.

Within days of the study, released on July 26, Internet Explorer supporters voiced concern and threatened to sue AptiQuant, according to the BBC.

"It's obviously very easy to create a bogus site like this. As all phishers know, it's easy to rip-off someone else's Web pages and pictures," a senior security at Sophos told the BBC on Wednesday.

The Vancouver, Canada based AptiQuant was formed in 2006, and claims to be a "world leader in the field of online psychometric testing," as noted in the official study report.

The complete report is still available on AptiQuant's Web site.