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Browser Security Issues with Firefox and Google Chrome Browsers

Firefox and Google Chrome are two of the most popular browsers around. Despite how popular they are, there are still browser security issues with these two browsers. They have a problem with leaking your IP address, even when you are using a VPN.

Stop Firefox & Chrome browser security problems

This issue was discovered and discussed on Github last year, but many are completely unaware of them. Here are the basics which were discussed:

“Firefox and Chrome have implemented WebRTC that allow requests to STUN servers be made that will return the local and public IP addresses for the user. These request results are available to javascript, so you can now obtain a users local and public IP addresses in javascript. This demo is an example implementation of that. Additionally, these STUN requests are made outside of the normal XMLHttpRequest procedure, so they are not visible in the developer console or able to be blocked by plugins such as AdBlockPlus or Ghostery. This makes these types of requests available for online tracking if an advertiser sets up a STUN server with a wildcard domain.”

This online security blog is written for those who are not computer experts. To put it in simple terms:

  • Firefox and Google Chrome can allow websites to find the IP address which was issued by your ISP.
  • This weakness has been found in the WebRTC JavaScript code.
  • Websites can run a check on this code without the visitor knowing about it.

Important notes to make here include:

  • This browser security issue has only been found on the Windows version of Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.
  • Those who use Mac, Linux, and Android are safe.

For everyone else, you need to do the following things to stop this browser security issue. This is especially true for our readers who are often using a VPN to protect their online privacy, and hide their IP address.

browser security with webrtcFixing the browser security issue with Chrome

Here is how you are going to fix the Google chrome Windows browser leak:

  • Download the WebRTC Network Limiter browser extension developed by Google.
  • Don’t worry, it is a 7.31 kB extension. It will not slow down your Internet experience.
  • This will this stop the WebRTC multiple routes option in your Google Chrome privacy settings.
  • Your IP address will not be revealed during configuration of certain WebRTC functions.
  • Test to be sure the extension has worked by visiting BrowserLeaks.com. Check to see if WebRTC has been disabled or not.

Another way to stop this in Chrome is to turn off JavaScript entirely:

  • Go to Settings
  • Open Advanced Settings
  • Click the Privacy Tab
  • Select Content Settings
  • Finally go into to JavaScript

Either way will work fine. Just be sure that you do it on your Windows machine if you use Google Chrome.

Stopping at the browser security issue on Firefox

firefox logoCorrecting this browser security problem in Firefox is a little bit more involved as there have been no extensions developed. Here are the steps to take:

  • Type “about:config” in the URL bar.
  • Press Enter.
  • Locate where it says “media.peerconnection.enabled.”
  • Double click on this and it will set to false.

These few steps will prevent your IP address from leaking. This is absolutely essential to do no matter how good your VPN is because it is a problem with your browser, and not your VPN. I would also recommend that you choose a more secure web browser.

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