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New Attacks Can Unmask Anonymous Users On Any Major Browser

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Due to many rampant online cyberattacks as of late, the need for comprehensive cybersecurity solutions continues to grow. Businesses cannot let their guard down for a second, as unethical hackers will seize this opportunity to hack your systems and retrieve sensitive data. As a provider of cybersecurity solutions in Seattle WA, RHYNO Networks is always ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing the latest and greatest in cybersecurity measures. What’s been occurring recently in our industry is a telling sign that more needs to be done to combat the attacks of these breachers. Unmasking anonymous users completely removes privacy and security while surfing the web, which is something that no person or business system should have to deal with under any circumstances.

Breaking The Story

Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology are warning this week about a novel technique that attackers could use to de-anonymize website visitors and potentially connect the dots on several components of the digital lives of its targets. The findings will be presented at the Usenix Security Symposium in Boston. It will show how an attacker who tricks someone into loading a malicious website can determine whether that visitor controls a specific public identifier, such as an email address or a social media account, which links the visitor to a piece of personal data (potentially). 

When visiting a website, the page can capture your IP address, but this does not mean that the owner has enough information to identify you. What may happen instead is that the hack analyzes subtle features of a potential target’s browser activity to determine whether they are logged into an account for a multitude of services. Additionally, the attacks work against every major browser, including the anonymity-focused Tor Browser. 

Not Just Theoretical

The risk for the public is not something that is purely theoretical. Even our providers of cybersecurity solutions in Seattle WA can attest to this. Researchers have documented a myriad of techniques used and have seen first-hand, situations in which attackers identified individual users, though it was not clear how it was done. Other theoretical work has analyzed an attack similar to the one that NJIT researchers developed, but much of the past investigations have focused on grabbing revealing data that’s leaked between websites when one service makes a request to another. Due to the results of the prior work, browsers, and website developers have improved how data is isolated and restricted when content loads, making these potential attack paths less prominent. 

How Attackers Carry Out Their Attacks

De-anonymization attack work is difficult to unpack, but can be easy to grasp once you have the gist of what is going on. Anyone carrying out the attack needs a few things to get started— a website they can gain access to, a list of accounts tied to people they want to identify as having been on the site, and content posted on the platforms of the accounts on their target list that either allows the targeted accounts to view that content or may block them from viewing it. The attack can work both ways. Next, the attacker embeds the above-mentioned content onto the malicious website. They then wait to see who clicks. If anyone on the targeted list visits the site, the attackers will know who they are by analyzing which users can or cannot view the embedded content. 

The Need For Continuous Conversations

Researchers have started a larger discussion about how to comprehensively address the issue at hand. Currently, Chrome and Firefox have not released publicly-issued statements. Continuous conversations will be one of the few ways to resolve the issue of unmasking anonymous users.

Unmasking Anonymous Users: Premiere Cybersecurity Solutions In Seattle WA

Part of our job with RHYNO Networks is to educate businesses on the latest occurring in the industry, the issue of unmasking anonymous users is no exception. Your business needs to stay on its toes at all times. Many of these threats are imminent, so it’s better to be prepared now, so that your business does not get any surprises later. We have gathered many years of experience in helping clients boost their protection. If you would like to learn more about our cybersecurity solutions in Seattle WA, contact us today! 

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