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There was a way to secretly scan users’ devices

The creators of the FingerprintJS service based on the JavaScript library of the same name have discovered a vulnerability that allows the site to track the device’s user between different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and even Tor. The new scheme is based on the ability of browsers to call external applications installed on the system (messengers, video players, etc.) by URL. For example, when you open a web meeting link in your browser, Zoom prompts you to launch the appropriate client. This leads to the fact that it is using a script. You can create a unique device identifier that unites all user accounts.

Cross-browser anonymity is something that the conscious Internet user takes for granted. The Tor browser offers maximum privacy protection, but even it, as it turns out, does not guarantee complete anonymity. The site creates a profile of the apps installed on the device to perform cross-browser tracking, trying to open them using URL handlers. In this case, a check occurs, and if the browser processes the link and offers to open the corresponding application, this means that the application is installed.

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Since the applications installed on the device act the same regardless of the browser used, this allows you to track user actions in both Google Chrome, Firefox, and anonymous Tor. Using this script, 24 apps can be tracked: Skype, Spotify, Zoom, vscode, Epic Games, Telegram, Discord, Slack, Steam, Battle.net, Xcode, NordVPN, Sketch, TeamViewer, Microsoft Word, WhatsApp, Postman, Adobe, Messenger, Figma, Hotspot Shield, ExpressVPN, Notion, and iTunes. Many users probably have several applications from this list installed, which will allow them to create a unique ID.

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