Feeds

Internet Explorer becomes Korean election issue

Presidential candidate promises to kill crypto standard locking nation into IE

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer market share may soon take a tumble in South Korea if presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo wins looming elections. The hot seat hopeful plans to abolish an anachronistic government crypto standard which has effectively locked users into Internet Explorer for over a decade.

At the tail end of the 1990s, the Korean government decided in its wisdom to develop a home-grown 128-bit SSL encryption standard to increase security around e-commerce.

SEED, as it was known, was then mandated for all online transactions.

The only problem with this new system was that it requires users to install Microsoft ActiveX plug-in to work and therefore needs Internet Explorer.

The result: a decade-long monopoly for IE as banking, shopping and other transactional sites were optimised specifically and exclusively for the Microsoft browser.

Although SEED was made non-mandatory back in 2010, its use is still widespread because the government-led approvals process for alternatives is so rigorous, according to Korea Times.

In the meantime, Internet Explorer market share in South Korea stands at a whopping 75 per cent as of October, with nearest rival Chrome down on 17 per cent, according to StatCounter. By contrast, IE is on just 26 per cent in Europe.

Protest group OpenWeb, which has challenged the Korean government over SEED in the courts, argues that the situation is not just anti-competitive and a massive hassle for individual users but also provides huge challenges to home-grown internet start-ups.

It said the following in a blog post:

Web pages riddled with quirks and bugs threaten end-users’ web accessibility. They are ‘enemies’ of free, open and fair internet. However, a country’s institutional and regulatory frameworks may also be mired with quirks and bugs. They threaten competing software companies’ market access to the country. Local software companies suffer as well. End-users, too.

Presidential hopeful Ahn set out his plans on Monday to support alternatives to SEED and put an end to the isolationist certificate system, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He should know what he’s talking about in the security space too, as the founder of popular Korean AV firm Ahn Lab.

The only threat to the plans could be his status as presidential hopeful.

The latest reports suggest independent candidate Ahn could be set to join forces with opposition party candidate Moon Jae In in a bid to stop ruling party candidate Park Geun Hye from winning election. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.