Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was on a random webchat site, similar to Chat Roulette. I had a couple of different browsers - IE and Firefox - open.

I was talking to a person in one of them, and then they identified the URL of the site I was visiting in the other browser! I had not given any information, not even that I had two browsers open.

I have antivirus protection, and ran a scan to make sure that nothing had been installed on my machine.

How is this possible? Should I be concerned?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Linker3000, random Aug 27 '11 at 16:29

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Perhaps he read the reflection off your glasses. Hopefully. – digitxp Aug 26 '11 at 15:31
Nope. Not wearing glasses and no reflective surfaces in the background. – Buggieboy Aug 26 '11 at 15:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It depends on the chat site program, I think.

I'd make sure all internet plugins are up to date (Flash, Java, etc) and that in addition to antivirus software, you have a good firewall tool as well.

UPDATE for comment: If the chat room operates using Java, it is running the Java program on your computer and has access to certain things that may surprise you. Most are not harmful, and part of the reasons plugins such as Java are updated so frequenly is that people are always finding new ways of getting these tools to act as security holes right into your computer.

This sounds like a simple hack, most likely using a script. Antivirus would not have caught it, generally. A firewall might have. The person was just trying to scare you and show off. They're probably not a great hacker. A skilled hacker interested in get at you would not have shown you that information but would have used what he'd learned to plant and use security holes in your system.

But then again, what do you have that a hacker is really interested in? For this reason, and this reason alone, most people will never encounter a skilled hacker attacking their own computer. Scripts and script kiddies are the ones who pull stunts and pranks like the one you experienced.

share|improve this answer
But it wasn't a program - meaning a locally installed executable. Just a website in a browser with normal security enabled. – Buggieboy Aug 26 '11 at 15:36
This sounds right to me. Thanks. I feel a bit relieved now. After all, it wasn't my hard drive, but "just" HTTP traffic that they were seeing. Though that's bad enough, of course! – Buggieboy Aug 26 '11 at 16:02
Sounds like cross site scripting to – Moab Aug 26 '11 at 22:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .