Feeds

Google Chrome bug outs users seeking anonymity

Loose-lipped proxy spills local IPs

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A bug in the latest version of the Google Chrome browser could leak the identity of users trying to surf anonymously, developers warn.

The flaw means that domain-name queries are made by a user's local network even when Chrome is configured to used a third-party proxy. Users typically use proxies to conceal their local IP address in an attempt to browse anonymously. When the feature is set up, domain-name queries are supposed to be funneled through the proxy, rather than being made by a user's local network.

"This presents a serious risk for the users of the services such as Tor, as their DNS data and the little anonymity they have with Tor is leaked outside and in the clear," according to an advisory published Monday on the Full-Disclosure mailing list.

Short for the onion router, Tor is a free service that routes internet connections through an unpredictable series of IP addresses to prevent the true source of a user's connection from being detected. It is used by configuring a browser or other internet-facing application to use an IP address that belongs to the Tor project. Those using Chrome 3.0.195.33, the most recent version of the Google browser, receive no such protection.

There seems to be some confusion about what's causing the bug. According to the Full-Disclosure advisory, a feature known as DNS pre-fetching, which is enabled by default, is responsible for the loss of anonymity. But some developers participating in this discussion in a forum for Google's open-source Chromium browser say the vulnerability exists even when pre-fetching is disabled.

It's unclear when the hole might be patched.

"We're looking into fixing this issue," a Google spokesman said, "but it only potentially impacts a very small number of people who make use of anonymity services like Tor."

Those looking for more dependable anonymous browsing are better off using Firefox in concert with the Torbutton. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.