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Web browser fingerprinting Farhan Jiva Computer Science Department The University of Georgia jiva@cs.uga.edu. Problem Modern web browsers suffer from a fundamental privacy/information leakage flaw. Websites you visit can query your web browser for instance-specific information.

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Web browser fingerprinting Farhan Jiva Computer Science Department The University of Georgia

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Web browser fingerprinting farhan jiva computer science department the university of georgia

Web browser fingerprinting

Farhan Jiva

Computer Science Department

The University of Georgia

jiva@cs.uga.edu

Problem

  • Modern web browsers suffer from a fundamental privacy/information leakage flaw.

  • Websites you visit can query your web browser for instance-specific information.

  • Using this information, one can attach a certain uniqueness to your browser thereby creating a very persistent, cookie-less tracking mechanism.

  • My work aims to show how this “fingerprint” can be created, can be extended to include mobile platforms and can be used for a variety of applications.

    Background

  • Special variables in modern web browsers contain information regarding your specific browser instance

    • browser plug-in details

    • MIME types your browser can accept

    • which fonts are installed

    • screen resolution

    • others

  • This information can be easily queried from websites you visit (javascript).

  • Each piece of information contributes a certain amount of uniqueness to your browser, effectively creating a browser fingerprint.

Approach

  • Currently, I'm working on a system which I've dubbed Bprobe.

  • The Bprobe project is a web analytics engine aimed at providing web site owners with in-depth information regarding their user base.

    • uses the browser fingerprint and very-persistent cookie methods

  • It also has the ability to be included in certain web applications

    • web-voting (repeat-vote detection)

    • certain web bot detection

Contributions

-Bprobe

References

1. Panopticlick (http://panopticlick.eff.org/)

2. BrowserSpy (http://browserspy.dk/)

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Kang Li for his guidance as well as my former cohort Dr. Doug Brewer for allowing me to pick his brain. Finally, I would like to thank the NSF for funding my work.


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