[NetBehaviour] Indiscrete web browsers assist de-anonymisation.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Feb 3 12:25:57 CET 2010
Indiscrete web browsers assist de-anonymisation.
A test on browser fingerprinting by the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) has shown how uniquely identifiable a user's browser is on the
web. What that test is unable to do is to identify individual users.
This, however, is the goal of an experiment by the International Secure
Systems Lab (Isec Lab). Originally founded by the Vienna University of
Technology (TUV), Isec Lab is now a collaborative venture between TUV,
Eurécom and the University of California in Santa Barbara. The test
makes use of Xing, a platform widely-used in Europe on which many
millions of users have published profiles.
The test essentially exploits the fact that many Xing users are
identifiable by their membership of various groups. According to
Thorsten Holz, one of the researchers who designed the experiment, there
are very few people on any social network who belong to exactly the same
groups. A 'group fingerprint' could thus allow websites to identify
previously anonymous visitors.
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