Jun 29th, 2015
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TimingonWebWebPrivacyPrivacyTimingAttacksAttacks onEdward W. Felten and Michael A. SchneiderSecure Internet Programming LaboratoryDepartment of Computer SciencePrinceton UniversityPrinceton, NJ 08544 USAABSTRACT Standard Web anonymization services do not prevent theattacks; in many cases they actually make the attacks worse.We describe a class of attacks that can compromise the privacy ofusers Web-browsing histories. The attacks allow a malicious Website to determine whether or not the user has recently visited someother, unrelated Web page. The malicious page can determine thisinformation by measuring the time the users browser requires toperform certain operations. Since browsers perform various formsof caching, the time required for operations depends on the usersbrowsing history; this paper shows that the resulting time variationsconvey enough information to compromise users privacy. This attack method also allows other types of information gathering byWeb sites, such as a more invasive form of Web cookies. Theattacks we describe can be carried out without the victims knowledge, and most anonymous browsing tools fail to prevent them.Other simple countermeasures also fail to prevent these attacks. Wedescribe a way of reengineering browsers to prevent most of them.1. Disabling browser features such as Java, JavaScript, and clientside caching do not prevent the attacks. The only effective ways we kno

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