March 20, 2021

The New Method of Web Tracking by Favicons

Are you aware of the web tracking method using Favicons? Know how it can be so vulnerable to your browser even if you are on Incognito mode.
web tracking using favicon

With the increasing complicated technology over the internet, people have been aware of the word, “Web tracking”.
The protection dangers of web-based tracks have accumulated extensive considerations from specialists as well as professionals. Whether you are using VPN or Incognito mode, you can be tracked.

Security specialists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found another technique to follow Internet users that is persistent across the session. It doesn’t matter if they delete cookies or browser caches.

In this article, I will discuss the novel tracking method by Favicons. First, let me tell you what Favicon is.

Favicon is a little site symbol in the address bar of the browser or you can get it at the bookmarks or tabs. Favicons are reserved by the browser or stored by HTML files or site images.

what is favicon

In more detail, a site can follow users across browsing by storing the following identifier as a bunch of passages in the browser’s devoted Favicon reserve, where every section relates to a particular subdomain. 

The examination paper also adds that Favicons might be utilized related to fingerprinting procedures to track users. Researchers have noted that the Favicon tracking method can reconstruct a 32-bit tracking identifier in 2 seconds. 

Users who utilize worked in usefulness to clear the storage will have these stored records eliminated from capacity.
Favicons endure over browsing sessions regardless of whether the users clear the reserve, and they are available even in private browsing or Incognito mode sessions. Favicon caches or F-caches never get deleted. 

A solitary favicon isn’t sufficient to recognize users dependent on it.

However, the analysts have found an approach to create numerous Favicons in the Favicon storage. The site does a progression of side-tracks through a few subdomains to save various distinctive favicons in the reserve.

Each saved Favicon makes its own entrance in the reserve and every one of them together can be utilized to recognize users. Sidetracks occur with no user collaboration as everything is constrained by the site being referred to. 

The scientists tried this initiative against the Chromium-based programs Google Chrome, Brave, Safari, and Microsoft Edge, and discovered that all are vulnerable to this.

They experimented with Firefox and found a bug that kept the program from browsing reserved favicon passages.
When fixed, Firefox would almost certainly be powerless against the initiative also. Brave has already resolved the issue where Google and Safari have identified 
the vulnerability but they are still working on it. Edge has stated that this is a non-Microsoft issue.

This is yet unclear how the data is being used. 

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