Quantifying Information Exposure by Web Browsers

Fadi Mohsen*, Mohamed Shehab, Maxamilliano Lange, Dimka Karastoyanova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Internet surfing entails exchanging numerous HTTP requests between clients and servers. Attached with each request is a string containing plenty of information about the client called User-Agent string. There have been numerous researches that showed the privacy and security risks of User-Agent strings. In this work we aim to minimize those risks by directing users towards using less exposing browsers. In doing so, we propose and test a new method for calculating an exposure score for web browsers based mainly on their User-Agent strings besides other attributes. We then apply this method on a dataset of over a million browsers to infer and compare their exposure scores. Finally, we present a demo web tool that shows how the resulting scores can be leveraged to aid end users. Our results reveal a variation in the exposure scores of these browsers, which creates prospect for safe Internet surfing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Future Technologies Conference
EditorsK. Arai , S. Kapoor , R. Bhatia
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-63092-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-63091-1
Publication statusPublished - 31-Oct-2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357

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