Technology

Fri, 6 Jul, 2018Melody Teh

This browser extension is secretly recording everything you do online

This browser extension is secretly recording everything you do online

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox internet users may have had their entire online history recorded and stored by third-party developers.

Security researcher Robert Theaton discovered a popular plugin for the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox was recording everything users did online.

The software add-on “Stylish” is designed to let users customise the appearance of webpages, but it has been hijacked by spyware.

The extension, which has more than 1.8 million users worldwide, may have been recording the browsing history of everyone who uses it.

Theaton, a software engineer from San Francisco, found the software had been recording browser history since January 2017, when it was bought by new owners SimilarWeb.

Writing on his blog, Mr Theaton said: “It only takes one tracking request containing one session cookie to permanently associate a user account with a Stylish tracking identifier. 

“This means that Stylish and SimilarWeb still have all the data they need to connect a real-world identity to a browsing history, should they or a hacker choose to.'

Stylish sends complete browsing activity back to its servers with a unique identifier, he claims.

This includes your Google search history, which could allow SimilarWeb to connect an individual with all of their online activity.

According to a statement from SimilarWeb back in 2017, when the company took over and updated its privacy policy, tracking was added to improve the browser extension, according to reports in Alphr.

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