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Firefox's geolocation facility can be used to find where you live

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  • 0 have this problem
  • 21 views
  • Last reply by ukbobboy

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Issue

I have another kind of problem with Firefox

I saw a report on the BBC News website yesterday, about a potential security problem within Firefox, and I am worried by its implications.


The news report is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10850875



UK Bob

All Replies (5)

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Sorry fellow forum members, the above is not how I wanted my question to turn out, and since I can't see a way to re-edit it I will try again.

This BBC news article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10850875 says that Samy Kamkar has found a way to use the geo-location facility within Firefox to find out where you live.

It does not take much imagination to see the use criminal hackers can make of this newly exposed security flaw.

Therefore, does Firefox plan to do anything about this flaw and if so then how soon will it be fixed?


(A worried) UK Bob

PS. Just found the re-editing button.

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I'm no expert, but reading the reports it seems to me that geo-location is a perfectly reasonable Firefox thing. To be exposed to the hack, you have: 1. To be using a WiFi router that is basically insecure or is still set to the default password; 2. To have not disabled the broadcasting of the SSID, making your network visible to the Google streetview cars; 3. To visit a bogus web site (and possibly supply it with information) to enable it to pick you up, and 4. Be of sufficient interest to the world and his wife for anyone to bother trying to locate you. Unless anyone knows better?

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John

I understand what you are saying but I think you have missed the point, no matter how many problems a system has this flaw is one more exploitable security hole that a technically experienced criminal can use. And I do believe that any producer of Internet enabled software owe a duty of care to their users to fix known problems, and if possible, before the flaw can be exploited.

Anyway, most ordinary PC users are completely unaware of the problems associated with surfing the Internet unprotected and as such are completely vulnerable. However, since we don’t live in a “every man for himself” society, ordinary users should be (and in most cases are) afforded some level of protection, regardless whether they are aware of it or not.


UK Bob

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You are always in danger of being hacked as long as you are on internet, disregarding which browser you are using. No browser can guarantee you 100% safe. Personally, Firefox is much much safer than IE, don't know how it is comparing to Google Chrome. I would worry about my ISP and router before I worry about my browser(s).

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silkphoenix

We know that each link in the chain that links us to the Internet is vulnerable to attack and that there is no such thing as 100% safety. However, if each link, whether browser, router or whatever, can be made a little safer then overall the Internet will be safer for all of us.


UK Bob