Sup guys, been a long time since I made my last post on this blog…now I’m back again
Alright…long story short, I’ve been trying to learn and get more into Network & Web Application security…& it’s a pretty interesting field really.
First of all, let me declare that I’m no expert in the field of security…far from that and I’m still learning some new things everyday & the curious cat in me always tries to fiddle around with technology…trying to break things and understand how they work
So only a few days back I started closely monitoring my network connections (like I do all the time) and I’ve noticed some rather weird stuff that I ignored in the past…but this time I decided to investigate a bit further.
Alright, don’t get all hairy about this…we all know & are aware of the fact that sites like Facebook track it’s users…it’s not just via cookies but also once you logout of Facebook your connection is not dropped…they can still track which sites you visit, etc. I have no solid proof to indicate how Facebook does that internally or prove the claim that they track you at all…cos obviously I don’t work for Facebook but I won’t be surprised if they do because obviously their motive as a profit making company is to gather as much data as possible from it’s user base. Personally I’m not a big fan of Facebook but I do have to use it sometimes for coursework related stuff & I’m not really bashing them…it’s more like I’m being privacy conscious.
Okay so what I did was, open up firefox, logged into Facebook using a random account, logged out & closed all tabs that I had related to Facebook on my browser. As a typical Facebook user, one would think that once you’ve logged out of Facebook & closed the site itself there would be nothing between you and Facebook right?
Well I thought so too, but apparently that’s not the case. Even after closing the site itself there was a direct connection between my computer and Facebook’s many servers. That in my opinion is something that I probably would be worried about. Why would they still keep my connection open when I have nothing to do with them anymore? Just look at the image below:
Oh you might be wondering that perhaps if I use private browsing mode in my browser I’d be safe? Well I tried that and even after you close your private browsing session your connection remains open.
How could that impact you? Well assuming Facebook is really tracking you through that open connection then I suppose you could be going through a privacy hell! Just imagine, every site you visit…all your identities online are known to them which they may use against you…I’m not saying they will…but it’s a capability that probably exists already. Not to mention that certain government agencies have special backdoor access to social networking sites from which they can further analyse a particular user’s data using machine learning algorithms to extract everything related to you…online surveillance can never get much worse.
The only way I could get rid of the connection was by restarting my browser…but perhaps there are other ways to get rid of this nuisance.
If you’re a Linux/Unix user, here’s a quick and dirty commandline trick to kill everything related to Facebook.
Install the commandline utility ngrep & type this in your terminal: ngrep -q -d ‘facebook.com’ -K 10
That should kill everything related to facebook, perhaps I can actually try and use packet sniffing to determine what is really sent to and from that particular connection…but I’ll save that for another day
If you like this or want to bring up a point feel free to leave your feedback