Feeds

Rancid IE6 'more secure' than Chrome and Opera US bank says

Suck it up, or swallow: customer choice

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Microsoft's creaking Internet Explorer 6 is more secure and popular than either Google's Chrome or Opera US banking giant Chase has determined.

The bank's therefore decided its online baking services will continue to support aging the IE 6 but drop support for Chrome and Opera.

IE 6 is nine years old and even Microsoft is now desperately speaking out against the browser, to get individuals and businesses to move on to IE 8.

Micosoft's Australian business unit recently equated using IE 6 to being as risky as drinking - or maybe, eating - a carton of nine-year-old milk as it lacked up-to-date cross-site scripting and anti-malware protection among other defenses.

Chase has said it will support later versions of Microsoft's browser, such as IE 8, that does offer greater protection. Also making the cut are Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 and higher and version 3.0 and higher of Apple's Safari on the Mac - but not the PC.

The bank has "strongly recommended" people using Chrome or Opera upgrade to a version of IE, Firefox or Safari it supports.

The bank's site cited security and popularity as behind its reason to dump Chrome - which has been growing fastest of all browser - and Opera.

Chase said in a story pick up here: "There are dozens of browsers in use today, but not all offer the minimum levels of security that we require while others may not perform well with our site. The security of your accounts and private information is one of our highest priorities and some browsers, especially older versions, are simply higher security risks to use with our site."

If a new browser grows in popularity, Chase will assess and test its security and performance to determine whether the bank should support its use.

Claiming one browser is more secure than another is a difficult task, as all are targets. IE is probably the most widely attacked, followed by Firefox. Interestingly, IE, Firefox and Safari were all felled during the annual Pwn2Own competition at CanSecWest, and only Chrome was left unhacked. Google's browser has a very sophisticated sandbox design that makes it extremely hard to attack.

One possible factor behind the decision by Chase, the retail banking arm of JP Morgan Chase, is that it's in the middle of digesting the IT operations of Washington Mutual - the failed bank acquired in 2008 when the economy was heading south. Chase could be looking for ways to curb its IT costs by focusing on just a handful of browsers on the app-development front.

JP Morgan Chase has already seen its customer satisfaction rating drop since the Washington Mutual deal and this won't help. The decision blocks users accessing their accounts at their convenience on PCs using the Opera Desktop browser and mobile devices including the iPhone - now a quarter of US smartphones - using Opera Mini, in addition to blocking the fast growing segment of Chrome adopters.

Opera called the situation "disappointing", while Google has not commented. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.