This component has been present – not just inside Chrome – but within all web browsers since the early days of the internet, as it served as a bandwidth saving feature.
The cache system usually works in the same way in all browsers. Each file receives an image, “CSS” or “JS” saved in the cache, a storage key that is usually the “URL” of the resource.
When the browser downloads a new page, it will search for the “URL” key within its internal cache database, knowing that it needs to download the image or download it from the storage memory.
Web advertising and analytics companies have realized that this feature can also be misused to track users, says Iggy Kitamura, a developer attorney at Google: “This mechanism works well from a performance perspective for a long time, however, the time it takes for the website to respond to requests.” HTTP “can reveal that the browser accessed the same resource in the past, opening the browser to security and privacy attacks.”
Detect that a user has visited a specific site: A user’s browsing history can be discovered by checking that the cache contains a resource that may be specific to a specific site or group of sites.
Cross-site search attack: The presence of a random string in a user’s search results can be detected by verifying that the “not in search results” image used by a particular website is in the browser’s cache.
Cross-site tracking: Memory storage can be used to store identifiers similar to cookies as a mechanism for cross-site tracking.
Activate the cache partition in Chrome 86:
With the release of Google Chrome 86 browser during the past week, Google has made important changes to the work of this feature. This feature, known as “partitioning the cache,” works by changing how resources are saved in the HTTP cache based on two additional factors, From now on, the resource storage key will contain three items instead of one:
– Top-level site domain “http: //a.example”.
– The current resource frame “http: //c.example”.
– The resource “URL” is https: //x.example/doge.png.
By adding additional keys to the initial cache verification process, Google Chrome has effectively blocked all previous attacks against its cache mechanism, as most website components will only be able to access their own resources, and will not be able to verify resources. Which does not have.
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