Online porn is still amongst the most top uses for the internet and while many do so trying to keep it secret, a Californian law suit currently before the courts might see more admitting to their vice.
Ironically, recent research has revealed that this practice of ‘history sniffing’ is a relatively unknown security risk but one on the rise. Histories could potentially be sold giving a unique insight into personal internet use. The claim is that Mainstream Media stole these histories and sold them to interested parties.
A recent paper from the University of California which would appear to have prompted this action suggests history sniffing could be used to find phishing targets – especially by identifying any recently visited banking sites and then sending out spoof emails from appearing to be from the same bank in an attempt to steal login details.
History sniffing could also become of great use to advertising organisations looking to profile visitors to their own sites and tailor content to them.
The research paper uses the domain www.whattheinternetknowsaboutyou.com as an example of how incisive history browsing could be and the potential it offers to building up a profile on innocent visitors to unobtrusive looking sites.
The advice on protecting your browser history appears to be ensure you use up to date versions of your browser and regularly clear your history too. Given the potential monetary value of a person’s online antics, and the likely high-profile of this lawsuit, we would expect many more to look into exploiting browser history until it is declared illegal.
Were you aware of the risk of history browsing? Do you think you may have been a victim?