My Site Knows Where You Are: A Novel Browser Fingerprint to Track User Position

Tianqi Wu, Yubo Song, Fan Zhang, Shang Gao, Bin Chen

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Utilizing browsers to identify and track users has become a routine on the Web in recent years. It is easy for the browser to collect sensitive information and construct comprehensive user profiles while the users are still unaware. As the problem mentioned above, several anti-fingerprint mechanisms have been adopted to protect user privacy. However, our research finds a novel method based on localization fingerprints that may still threaten user privacy. The location fingerprint obtains the response delay of data transmission over the link between the users and the third-party sites. Since the physical link state information between the host and the remote website is distinct and steady, it can be used to extract statistical features and construct user profiles. We implement a multilateration cross-site image resource request scheme to collect link-state information of users and develop a prototype called PingLoc to evaluate the effectiveness. About 1,093 users from all over the world are involved in our experiment. The evaluation shows that the delay features collected are stable, and the accuracy of the localization fingerprint is up to 98%. Pressure testing shows that the PingLoc is robust against various anti-fingerprint mechanisms and achieves 93.5% accuracy for browser switching, 80.6% accuracy for virtual machine disguising, and 88.2% accuracy for IP rotation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICC 2021 - IEEE International Conference on Communications, Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728171227
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Event2021 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2021 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: 14 Jun 202123 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)1550-3607


Conference2021 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Browser fingerprint
  • cross-domain resource request
  • user tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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