“Free” browsers boast features and extensions that supposedly enhance security and privacy online. The same settings or plugins, it turns out, can be used by adversaries to achieve precisely the opposite effect.
The researchers found an abundance of environment-dependent properties in Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and mobile Tor which allowed them to reveal the underlying operating system, CPU architecture, used privacy-enhancing plugins, and exact browser version. “As a result,” they summarize their findings, “we cannot only ease the creation of fingerprints, but we gain the advantage of having a more precise picture for targeted exploitation.”
Listen to the interview here: