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South Korean Internet banking systems have a unique way of enforcing security controls. Users are obliged to install proprietary security software - typically an ActiveX plugin that implements a bundle of protection mechanisms in the user's browser. The banks and their software suppliers claim that this provides trustworthy user platforms. One side-effect is that almost everyone in Korea uses IE rather than other browsers. The authors conducted a survey of bank customers who use both Korean and other banking services, and found that the Korean banks' proprietary mechanisms impose significant usability penalties.
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