May 27, 2022

TheCyberThrone

Thinking Security ! Always

Cross Tracking Bug Found in Safari 15

A vulnerability in Apple’s IndexedDB API in Safari 15 allows websites to track users’ activity on other sites and even to reveal their identity.

Used in all major browsers, IndexedDB is a low-level browser API for storing client data, which follows the same-origin policy, to restrict the interaction of resources that have different origins. In general indexed databases are associated with only their specific origin.

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But in Safari 15 on macOS and in the browsers running on iOS and iPadOS 15 devices, the IndexedDB API is violating the same-origin policy.

The existence of these “cross-origin-duplicated databases” means that arbitrary websites can learn what other sites the user is visiting in other tabs or windows, because database names are typically website-specific.

Websites such as Google Calendar, Google Keep, and YouTube, create databases contains authenticated user’s Google ID. Databases are created for all of the accounts a user is logged into. The Google User ID can be used to uniquely identify a specific Google account, and can be used with Google APIs to fetch available information on the account owner, including a user’s profile picture, at a minimum.

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No user interaction is required for these data leaks to occur, as websites querying the IndexedDB API can learn of other sites in real-time. To protect themselves, Safari, iOS, and iPadOS users could block JavaScript on all sites that are not trusted, which is a drastic and inconvenient option. On macOS, users could switch to a different browser.

The only protection is to update your browser or OS once the issue is resolved by Apple.

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