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Why should I care about plugins?

Isn't it possible to tunnel all the browser traffic through the Tor VPN?

I read somewhere that Flash and Javascript can 'phone home' and reveal my real IP, and that's why they are disabled or restricted.

But I still don't understand how that could happen.

Does the use of yet another proxy help to this matter?

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Flash and Javascript are both running code on your local machine, which is where the hazard lies. They may not be "phoning home" directly, but the other side could be asking for information that flash or javascript would know, and so flash or javascript could freely give up that information.

In this case, no amount of nesting between you and the target would help if flash or javascript are just going to "snitch" on you anyway.

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Not to forget the frequent security issues in Flash and especially Java [not JavaScript, though]. – grawity Jun 13 '12 at 14:03
In addition a lot of systems can be identified via browserand plug ins. Even when cookies and flash (supercookies) are disabled. Using a plain configuration helps to blend in. – Hennes Jun 13 '12 at 14:17

Typically plugins assume you're connected to the internet via normal means, without a proxy or tor running. It's how most of the internet connects.

If they plugin doesn't know it's using TOR, it also doesn't have a reason to not process your requests as it normally should. Using your original/correct net info. Thus possible leakage.

It's kinda a new/temp problem, since getting a proxy to work 10 years ago took a bit more work then just hitting settings > network > proxy.

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