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Anonymus browsing? Forget it.
Old 01-29-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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Anonymus browsing? Forget it.

An article in Ars Technica discusses methods of unique identification based on the characteristics of your browser and installed addons, color depth, screen size etc. There is is also a web site that will test your browser and give you a score.

Even without cookies, a browser leaves a trail of crumbs

The below listed site will give you the gory details. My browser tested at 1 in aprox. 200000. The amount of info they can suck out of a browser is astounding.

Cheers

Panopticlick

Add: combine with IP address tracking, can get pretty darn close tracking you.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
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Apparently I am UNIQUE,

(just like everone else?)
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:01 AM   #3
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Me, too. But, then, the sampling is small -- only 258,000 users.

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
An article in Ars Technica discusses methods of unique identification based on the characteristics of your browser and installed addons, color depth, screen size etc. There is is also a web site that will test your browser and give you a score.

Even without cookies, a browser leaves a trail of crumbs

The below listed site will give you the gory details. My browser tested at 1 in aprox. 200000. The amount of info they can suck out of a browser is astounding.

Cheers

Panopticlick

Add: combine with IP address tracking, can get pretty darn close tracking you.
I'll bet that once you go to that web site they collect info on your computer settings and the IP address you came from so they can build an even better database and sell it.

So, I guess the next defense will be an add-on that users can get which will randomly change their preferred color settings, font sizes, screen resolution, etc to make tracking more difficult.

Thanks for the link--interesting.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:33 AM   #5
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If you really, really need 100% anonymity, don't do it online.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
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That was very interesting - yes, add an ip sniffer/tracker and you are very easy to find or target.....however, anyone who interacts in any public way is connected to the 'network' either electronically or physically. Anonymity is best done without any connecting of any sort.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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I am unique, too, but it said something about 17.9 bits of identifying information was detected.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:52 PM   #8
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If you really, really need 100% anonymity, don't do it online.
Pretty much. Then again Im not afraid of the porn anyone might know Im looking at. Except that bacon fetish I have..its really obscure..
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:50 PM   #9
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being in the software biz... i like the use of font list as one more identifier. others i already was aware of. Thanks for the link.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:30 PM   #10
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When I click on the link, my browser locks up and I have to end the session, I'm using Firefox.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:03 PM   #11
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Ok I don't understand how I have 18.92 bits of unique identifying info. I could understand 18 or 19 bits but how do you have .92 bits

My time zone is pretty much a narrows me down to the million people who live in Hawaii. So I have a unique name (according to a Facebook app as well as people search pipl.com) and a unique browser. I better move and change my name if I want to plot terrorist attacks from my home. I think Mohammad Bin Laden wouldn't attract any attention in our PC conscious Homeland security department.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:03 PM   #12
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Ok I don't understand how I have 18.92 bits of unique identifying info. I could understand 18 or 19 bits but how do you have .92 bits
I picked up on that, too. Perhaps Panopticlick is using bit to mean one unit of information, or one field value (which could be a lot of bits).

Interestingly, my browser clocked in at 18.92 bits, exactly the same as yours.

m-w.com offers a definition of bit that has no mention of binary digits. The word "bit" has probably been around since before binary digits -- or at least before computers. But Google it, and you seem to get mostly references to binary digits.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:36 PM   #13
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OK... so everybody seems to have 18.92 bits of info... so we are all the SAME...
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:11 AM   #14
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Perhaps the .92 bits comes from us all being members of the E-R forum. I bet Andy uses LBYM cookies to track us in keeping with the spirit of the forum, so there is an 8% discount.

Well that is my story and I am sticking to it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:50 PM   #15
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OK... so everybody seems to have 18.92 bits of info... so we are all the SAME...
Nope...I have 19.01 bits.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:15 PM   #16
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I use a firefox plugin called NoScript which stops any kind of script from running unless you allow it to. Javascript is used to find out a lot of information. With it disabled for the site, it found only 1/2 the amount of data that it did with it enabled.

It can be a pain to use in the beginning as you build up your list of trusted sites. After that, it is almost invisible except when you go to some new site.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:05 PM   #17
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Ok I don't understand how I have 18.92 bits of unique identifying info. I could understand 18 or 19 bits but how do you have .92 bits
I haven't looked into this at all, but just as a guess it might be something like an average of the info pulled out of all the various packets that are involved in a session. But I could be wrong.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:23 PM   #18
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Add: combine with IP address tracking, can get pretty darn close tracking you.

Yep, all that info and a court order might get your name. An IP address and a court order might work just as well.

WTFC what someone knows about your habits if they can't attach a name?
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:28 AM   #19
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Yep, all that info and a court order might get your name. An IP address and a court order might work just as well.

WTFC what someone knows about your habits if they can't attach a name?
My sentiments exactly. And it DOES take a court order to get any further than an IP address. ISP's are justifiably paranoid about being sued so they insist that the legal i's and t's are dotted and crossed.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:28 PM   #20
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My sentiments exactly. And it DOES take a court order to get any further than an IP address. ISP's are justifiably paranoid about being sued so they insist that the legal i's and t's are dotted and crossed.


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