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Old 10. Mar 2010, 09:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Browser is not private

Hi.
I was just testing my system security here http://www.pcflank.com and got this notification

Attention! Your browser is not private. Privacy is 50%
While visiting web sites your browser sends information about previous sites you have visited.

Recommendation:
Install a personal firewall program. If you already have a firewall, adjust it to block this information.

I've just reinstalled comodo, but i have no idea how to adjust it as advised. My browser is firefox and had cookies blocked when i tested it.

Any help appreciated.
grf
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Old 10. Mar 2010, 11:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe this may be related to HTTP referrer headers (sic)

For example, Firefox manual settings to control it are explained here

There are also various Firefox addons (e.g RefControl ; No-Referer amongst others) that help manage referers if you feel it's necessary but personally I'm not familiar with their use.
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Old 10. Mar 2010, 11:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Sope, that's exactly what it was. I went here http://cafe.elharo.com/privacy/priva...rs-in-firefox/ and followed the instructions: job done.
You wouldn't happen to know how i stop my firewall leaking would you? Win7, Zone Alarm and Comodo firewalls all test positive for leakage. Unfortunately i seem to have picked the wrong time to change my OS to x64, so am limited in which firewall i can use. MC suggested one that doesn't leak but it does not support x64 OS.
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 12:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grf View Post
Thanks Sope, that's exactly what it was. I went here http://cafe.elharo.com/privacy/priva...rs-in-firefox/ and followed the instructions: job done.
You wouldn't happen to know how i stop my firewall leaking would you? Win7, Zone Alarm and Comodo firewalls all test positive for leakage. Unfortunately i seem to have picked the wrong time to change my OS to x64, so am limited in which firewall i can use. MC suggested one that doesn't leak but it does not support x64 OS.
What sort of "leakage" results do you mean? Have you configured Comodo to block all incoming connections, "stealth my ports to everyone"? If a GRC scan is showing open ports, which ones are they? The traffic filtering part of Privatefirewall by the way does function perfectly with x64, it's just the process monitor which doesn't (yet).
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Last edited by MidnightCowboy; 11. Mar 2010 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 12:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've also had some confusing and conflicting results in the past with pcflank and grc. Detailed in this thread. Your situation may be similar to mine?

That was with my XP machine running Comodo.
I get similar results with my new Win7 x64 system using the built-in firewall.

Last edited by Sope; 11. Mar 2010 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 02:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy View Post
What sort of "leakage" results do you mean? Have you configured Comodo to block all incoming connections, "stealth my ports to everyone"? If a GRC scan is showing open ports, which ones are they? The traffic filtering part of Privatefirewall by the way does function perfectly with x64, it's just the process monitor which doesn't (yet).
I just don't know. All my ports tested green and once i sorted the referrer headers it passed every test except the leak test. Anyway, i just spent two and a half hours putting the x32 OS back on and reinstalling everything so i'll try privatefirewall and see how that goes. Man i'm so hopless with this stuff Sorry MC i misunderstood about privatefirewall not supporting x64
thanks Sope, MC.

Last edited by grf; 11. Mar 2010 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 07:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What is intriguing is the concern over the http referrer info leakage from the browser. I am not naive about the "dangers" posed by tipping your hand about your environment to a potential hacking site, but how much time do you think you save by hiding your info? seconds maybe...not much more than that. Let's face it, you can announce your browser and OS stats and a bad site will infect your computer in a second or two, or you can mask the info and it will take an extra second or two. Your reactions times are slower than the probe times.

Some of my ambivalence to browser tracking does stem from the fact that I manage the analytics on dozens of websites for customers. I use the data to enhance the user experience on those sites. For example, I know that over 80% of our visitors use screen resolutions larger than 1024x768, so I design wider pages. I know that two years ago over 90% of my visitors were using IE and now only 62% of my visitors are using IE. I now code to standards that work best for Firefox. I have even stopped using CSS hacks to force IE6 to work. Why? Because only 2.1% (and dropping) of my visitors are using IE6, so why spend the time making it work. On the other hand, 3.3% (and rising) are visiting my sites with iPhones, so time to mobify some of those sites.

I can go on and on with examples of how this information is used in a POSITIVE way. I just felt that I had to point out the other side of the http referrer argument so that it does not become an all out slug fest to shut down a portion of your browsers operating behavior.
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 02:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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All my ports tested green and once i sorted the referrer headers it passed every test except the leak test.
Which leak test are you referring to?
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 02:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Which leak test are you referring to?
On the pc flank home page you can select which test to run from the "Test your system" menu: Pc flank leaktest (new) is the one. I tested four firewalls all with the same result and have decided the best thing to do is to stop using services that fuel my paranoia. I don't know enough about this stuff to know what kind of risk this "leakage" poses, if any at all. Since i can't do anything about it, i'm just going to not worry about it anymore.
Thanks all.
grf
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Old 11. Mar 2010, 03:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with you. It's very easy to get paranoid and obsessed aiming to completely lock down your PC and loading it with the numerous security measures that are available. In the process you forget to actually enjoy your PC and use it for the purposes you originally intended
In reality, for the majority of us, it's more than enough to use a limited number of reliable security products (carefully chosen) and apply a dose of common sense when it comes to surfing and what we download.

......and always keep an up-to-date backup image in a safe place
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