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The Web’s sixth sense: A study of scripts accessing smartphone sensors

Boekbijdrage - Boekhoofdstuk Conferentiebijdrage

© 2018 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. We present the first large-scale measurement of smartphone sensor API usage and stateless tracking on the mobile web. We extend the OpenWPM web privacy measurement tool to develop OpenWPM-Mobile, adding the ability to emulate plausible sensor values for different smartphone sensors such as motion, orientation, proximity and light. Using OpenWPM-Mobile we find that one or more sensor APIs are accessed on 3 695 of the top 100K websites by scripts originating from 603 distinct domains. We also detect fingerprinting attempts on mobile platforms, using techniques previously applied in the desktop setting. We find significant overlap between fingerprinting scripts and scripts accessing sensor data. For example, 63% of the scripts that access motion sensors also engage in browser fingerprinting. To better understand the real-world uses of sensor APIs, we cluster JavaScript programs that access device sensors and then perform automated code comparison and manual analysis. We find a significant disparity between the actual and intended use cases of device sensor as drafted by W3C. While some scripts access sensor data to enhance user experience, such as orientation detection and gesture recognition, tracking and analytics are the most common use cases among the scripts we analyzed. We automated the detection of sensor data exfiltration and observed that the raw readings are frequently sent to remote servers for further analysis. Finally, we evaluate available countermeasures against the misuse of sensor APIs. We find that popular tracking protection lists such as EasyList and Disconnect commonly fail to block most tracking scripts that misuse sensors. Studying nine popular mobile browsers we find that even privacy-focused browsers, such as Brave and Firefox Focus, fail to implement mitigations suggested by W3C, which includes limiting sensor access from insecure contexts and cross-origin iframes. We have reported these issues to the browser vendors.
Boek: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Pagina's: 1515 - 1532
ISBN:9781450356930
Jaar van publicatie:2018