I have a professor that has online quizzes. They mentioned on the first day that they can see the other tabs open in the browser so don't try to cheat by looking up answers. Is this possible? If not easily doable, in what ways could the professor (or hacker) view your open tabs - even if it's illegal?

closed as off-topic by RoraΖ, Xander, Stephane, M'vy, TildalWave Feb 5 '15 at 16:19

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  • Is it your computer? Your internet connection? Or are they both controlled by the school? – AlexH Feb 5 '15 at 9:38
  • Honestly, just ask them. I'd be curious if it was a bluff or how they are doing it. We could hypothesize, but depending on the extent of their commitment to anti-cheating it could be anywhere from idle threat, or a proxy detecting the traffic on the wire. – Shane Andrie Feb 5 '15 at 15:42

Not if it's your normal browser. He could see if the page in your browser has gone out of focus (e.g. if you open a new tab, click over to a new window, etc.), but that is pretty much it. One course my girlfriend had to endure in the past required her to use a dedicated browser which was a bit more invasive, but she was able to cheat using a secondary computer nonetheless.


If they're wiretapping in some fashion, as is probably the case, then they can see what pages are loaded, likely using MitM attacks on HTTPS to get around most normal privacy guards. Defeating this requires certificate pinning, knowledge of (and un-trusting) what CA their MitM certificate was issued by, or a thorough encrypting proxy like Tor.

They can't see what tabs you had preloaded, however, and in some cases "preloaded" may mean "saved in disk cache and displayed after class starts".

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