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It is a technology that would permit 3rd parties to sneak in your browsing and get an idea of your activity on the Internet. Today we are going to know more about it and if it poses any threat to our privacy or not.

What is Website Traffic Fingerprinting?

As already mentioned above, Website Trafficking Fingerprinting is a method of determining the activity of a user on the Internet. This is possible even if the user is having a secured password protected VPN tunnel or encryption by sneaking on the data packets transporting in and out the Internet.

The Onion Router claims too that criminals or unethical hackers can get access to its users’ activity by decoding many things. According to them data is first encrypted and then forwarded through its nodes present in the TOR network. Data packets are highly vulnerable until they reach the first node in the TOR network.  Criminals set up such multiple nodes on the TOR network with higher chances of data going through them and eventually to their hands.

What is the reason behind this?

According to the TorProject, “The exact motivation for this effort on behalf of the adversary is typically not specified, but there seem to be three possibilities, in order of increasing difficulty for the adversary:

  1. The adversary is interested in blocking specific censored webpage traffic patterns, while still leaving the rest of the Tor-like traffic unmolested (perhaps because Tor’s packet obfuscation layer looks like something legitimate that the adversary wants to avoid blocking). NOTE: You may replace TOR with any other encrypted traffic.
  2. The adversary is interested in identifying all of the users that visit a small, specific set of targeted pages.
  3. The adversary is interested in recognizing every single web page a user visits.”

How does it work?

Sneakers or criminals study the data packets going in and out the website and hence this is how it actually works. The manner of the data entry and exit reveals a lot about the activity of the user that is, what is being seen, downloaded, viewed and so on.  Depending on the size and time interval among releases, the data packets reveal a lot about what the user is up to. Based on these patterns, the sneakers get to know the about the activity of the user. But without breaking the encryption it is impossible for them to know what is going on.

Threats it can pose:

This could pose a serious threat to you by blowing off your identity. The mainly feared factor of getting one’s data stolen is nothing to be worried of if you are using a VPN or any other forms of encryption. The main purpose behind this is to know the interests of the users on the Internet, to check if any illegal or immoral activity or plans of it is going on.


Abhirup is a science and tech freak. His passion is blogging on different science and technology topics. In his spare time, he plays piano. He is an avid lover of football. Follow him on his Instagram handle to know more about him.


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