Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saved web pages can leak information too!!

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I have my blog registered under Sitemeter to keep track of my visitors. I like Sitemeter more than Google Analytic because of the real time statistics it provides. I was looking through some of the data from Sitemeter when my eyes fell on a couple of strange URLs. The entry page of some visitors began with something like file///E:/.... instead of the usual http://www.... When I clicked on the visitor to see the details this is what I saw.



Another one.



Can you guess what happened? This guy had saved a page of my blog on his hard disk either that day or some other day previously. He had opened the saved page from his hard disk when his internet connection was active. The sitemeter's tracking code which was present on the page immediately sent the URL of the page along with other data to their servers. The URL of the page is now replaced by the path where he had saved this page. The portion that I have hidden with a black bar reveals his name!

There is no reason to be alarmed because the information is trivial. Even so, you can never be sure when, how and what information you give out once you connect to the internet.

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