FP-Scanner: The Privacy Implications of Browser Fingerprint Inconsistencies

Antoine Vastel 1 Pierre Laperdrix 2 Walter Rudametkin 1 Romain Rouvoy 1, 3
1 SPIRALS - Self-adaptation for distributed services and large software systems
Inria Lille - Nord Europe, CRIStAL - Centre de Recherche en Informatique, Signal et Automatique de Lille (CRIStAL) - UMR 9189
Abstract : By exploiting the diversity of device and browser configurations, browser fingerprinting established itself as a viable technique to enable stateless user tracking in production. Companies and academic communities have responded with a wide range of countermeasures. However , the way these countermeasures are evaluated does not properly assess their impact on user privacy, in particular regarding the quantity of information they may indirectly leak by revealing their presence. In this paper, we investigate the current state of the art of browser fingerprinting countermeasures to study the inconsistencies they may introduce in altered fingerprints , and how this may impact user privacy. To do so, we introduce FP-SCANNER as a new test suite that explores browser fingerprint inconsistencies to detect potential alterations, and we show that we are capable of detecting countermeasures from the inconsistencies they introduce. Beyond spotting altered browser fingerprints, we demonstrate that FP-SCANNER can also reveal the original value of altered fingerprint attributes, such as the browser or the operating system. We believe that this result can be exploited by fingerprinters to more accurately target browsers with countermeasures.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01820197
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Antoine Vastel, Pierre Laperdrix, Walter Rudametkin, Romain Rouvoy. FP-Scanner: The Privacy Implications of Browser Fingerprint Inconsistencies. Proceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium, Aug 2018, Baltimore, United States. ⟨hal-01820197⟩

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