S-Protect: Sparkasse browser for secure online banking
With “S-Protect” Savings Bank customers should be better protected in online banking. The browser offers that.
The Sparkasse browser S-Protect is designed to protect customers in online banking
© Coronic GmbH
The savings banks want to better protect their customers with the “S-Protect” browser in the future when doing online banking on the PC. The browser is being developed by the Kiel company Coronic on behalf of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV). S-Protect is a “hardened bank browser” that is available for Windows (from Windows 8.1) and Mac (from macOS 10.13). First via this website of the pilot savings bank on the Lower Rhine.
An installation or configuration of S-Protect is not necessary: It is sufficient to download the file “S-Protect.exe” (under Windows) or “S-Protect.zip” (under macOS, it contains “S-Protect.dmg” ) to download and then launch.
S-Protect is intended to serve users like a “safety belt in the car”. “And just as it is now a matter of course for all drivers to buckle up before driving, it should become a matter of course for bank customers to call up the S-Protect browser before doing their banking online,” explains Coronic.
The “hardened bank browser” S-Protect offers these advantages
S-Protect is intended to serve as an additional protective shield when using online banking. At least as far as all savings bank financial transactions are concerned. If there is a Trojan or other malicious program on the computer used, secure online banking is still possible via S-Protect because the application controls all browser and Windows functions as well as all page views and also only allows access to secure pages of the Sparkasse or its partners allowed.
Specifically, S-Protect uses a whitelist that contains all the websites belonging to the savings bank group. The browser checks the authenticity of these certificates while surfing and thus prevents a Sparkasse customer from accessing a manipulated or dangerous website.
“S-Protect makes sure that only the good pages of the Sparkasse can be surfed to. It recognizes every single page required in banking by its address, all other Internet pages are prohibited,” explains the Sparkasse and adds:
Classic security software always tries to “detect all enemies” and still sometimes fails. S-Protect, on the other hand, relies on the “know your friends” concept. Access to third-party, manipulated or insecure sites is thus prevented from the outset. It works so well that S-Protect enables safer online banking even on infected computers.
In order to prove the authenticity of S-Protect under Windows and to prevent changes, S-Protect is supplied with a code signing certificate from Coronic GmbH. This certificate is displayed in the properties dialog of the downloaded file under Windows as “Digital Signature” and is currently valid until July 30, 2022. On Apple systems, macOS itself checks the application to see whether it has a valid developer signature and prevents it otherwise the start.
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