You can be tracked online through your mouse movements

Users of the Tor network are at risk of being tracked through their mouse movements – which are unique, like fingerprints.

IT security expert Jose Carlos Norte said Tor provides a good level of privacy, but it is not enough to protect users’ privacy on the web.

“When browsing the web, your identity can be discovered using browser exploits, cookies, browser history, browser plugins, and more,” he said.

He said hiding a user’s IP address is a key aspect in protecting their privacy, but a lot of other things need to be taken into consideration.

One problem that the Tor browser tries to address is user fingerprinting.

“If a website is able to generate a unique fingerprint that identifies each user that enters the page, then it is possible to track the activity of this user in time.”

Norte has been able to fingerprint Tor browser users in controlled environments.

“The mouse wheel event in Tor Browser leaks information of the underlying hardware used to scroll the webpage,” he said.

Another leak in the mouse wheel is the scroll speed that is linked to the configuration of the operating system and the hardware.

The speed of the mouse moving across the webpage is another cue.

“The speed of the mouse is controlled by the operating system and related to hardware, and can be read using JavaScript if you can measure time using the mentioned strategies.”

More on security

This is what happens when your computer gets infected with ransomware

Apple users targeted in ransomware attack

Ransomware – what it is, and how to protect your files from it

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
You can be tracked online through your mouse movements