Does saving favorites on Firefox decrease anonymity/privacy?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by DesuMaiden, May 1, 2013.

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  1. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    I don't want websites I am visiting to see what websites I have saved as Favorites.
     
  2. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

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    I don't think that's a problem, honestly. The only privacy loss you risk is someone using your browser and seeing all the places you have bookmarked (hide the porn links in Notepad files in a random folder ;) ). Cookies are about the only thing other websites will see.
     
  3. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Short of a bug... *possibly* also some Social related sharing mechanism I'm not aware of and/or a plugin which surfaces such information... I don't know why that would be possible. It is definitely the type of thing that should NOT be possible in general.

    Note, however, that there been some related "history sniffing" design flaws and bugs whereby arbitrary websites could detect whether a URL has been previously visited/loaded. Bookmarked sites being an example of sites that are likely to have been previously visited, and probably repetitively/recently. Getting started keywords: firefox history sniffing CSS visited computed style cache timing attack. I'm not sure how well cleared up those problems are. Last year I saw a thread somewhere which suggested in a fairly convincing way that there are still some issues on that front.
     
  4. inka

    inka Registered Member

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    Each time you add a bookmark, the browser saves the accompanying favicon.ico file.
    If a script loads hxxp:/ /somesite.com/favicon.ico and loads it a second time and finds no significant difference in timing... aha.

    Scripts can skirt same-origin policy by, for instance, appending an element to the DOM which contains img src="elsewhere" ...but, based on timing comparisons, the script author cannot infer whether you had visited "elsewhere" today (or since last purging your cache, or opening a new/containerized tab) or whether your browser contains a local copy of somewhere/favicon.ico due to the existence of a bookmark. So, IMO no, saving favorites in Firefox does not decrease anonymity,
     
  5. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    It can. Have a look at this great article from EFF:

    A Primer on Information Theory and Privacy

    Check out the bottom section "An Application To Web Browsers", and then visit Panopticlick's site to test your own browser. The results might surprise you.
     
  6. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Not sure if firefox can change its user string.
    This can be achieved in opera for example.
    Im not aware of any firefox add on that does this.

    I ran this test and java script being disabled was on the majority of results probably with running noscript.
     
  7. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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  8. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    @cloneranger.

    Thank you.
    Nice extension.
     
  9. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    FWIW, a Mozilla user-agent related test page. Please let me know if I missed something. Note that creating/changing general.useragent.override to affect the User-Agent header and navigator.userAgent value doesn't affect those other values readable by Javascript. Sample output for FF21 on XP:

    FF21OnXP.png
     

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    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  10. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ AMIGA500

    Which one did you go for ?
     
  11. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Havent chosen anything yet but the calomel looks a favourite.
    Dont want to hog firefox down with too many extensions lol.
     
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