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I downloaded and installed Malwarebytes. After running a scan, Malwarebytes quarantined a bunch of different malware programs.

What type of malware can see my browsing history, my Google searches and Facebook activity?

I know that spyware and keylogger types of malware can do that, but Malwarebytes detected none of those on my computer. Instead, it detected adware, trojan agent, and all kind of PUPs. Can those kinds of malware see my browsing activity?

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Any application which can access your browser data can see your browsing history - the requirements for that depend on what browser you are using, and how you use your computer (if your day to day user is an administrator or not, for example). That may in turn reveal things you've searched for or Facebook activity through the presence of cache data or similar.

There are also programs which may be considered legitimate by tools like Malwarebytes, but which may be able to observe actions in this way. For example, if you use any VPN software to connect to a business network, or browser addins with all-site permissions, they can also see the activity, but may not be flagged as malicious since they need to be able to see the activity in order to work.

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Malware, where a compromise is in any ring (ref 1) can potentially access your browsing history. Even a malicious browser plugin running as your user with access to the file system can do this.

In addition most websites today can make use of the browsers history API to view your browsing history (ref 2). Note that this access is limited by the same origin policy for a domain. (Ref 3).

Ref. 1: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protection_ring

Ref. 2: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/History_API

Ref. 3: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Security/Same-origin_policy

  • Ok... thnx. Let's say that some malware did actually collect my browsing history and sent the information to some outside server or website, is there a way for me to detect this activity that occured in the past? Like does windows 7 keeps a history log for all the programs that connected to the Internet in the past and sent out information? – John Doe Oct 26 '18 at 12:04
  • If you have a firewall turned on and configured to log outbound connections for both pass and fail then yes. – jas- Oct 27 '18 at 13:26

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