Security

Web Browser History Detection as a Real-World Privacy Threat

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Executive Summary

Web browser history detection using CSS visited styles has long been dismissed as an issue of marginal impact. However, due to recent changes in Web usage patterns, coupled with browser performance improvements, the long-standing issue has now become a significant threat to the privacy of Internet users. In this paper, the authors analyze the impact of CSS-based history detection and demonstrate the feasibility of conducting practical attacks with minimal resources. They analyze Web browser behavior and detectability of content loaded via standard protocols and with various HTTP response codes.

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