Firephorm - the anti-phorm Firefox extension - gHacks Tech News

Firephorm - the anti-phorm Firefox extension

We have covered Phorm before here on Ghacks. It is a very scary cooperation between several Internet Service Providers and advertising companies. The Internet Service Providers install tracking cookies on user systems and create unique profiles for each user which is then used by cooperating advertising agencies to display targeted advertisement to the user.

Especially British Internet Service Providers seem inclined to make use of Phorm to earn an extra pound. The best way of dealing with such companies would be change to another phorm-free provider as soon as possible. This however is not always possible. That's when anti-phorm tools come into play. They are also great for the time it takes to transfer the account from one provider to another.

Why is Phorm so dangerous? The tracking is definitely a privacy issue. You cannot opt out of the tracking and data like search queries, and visited websites are stored and analyzed. Since British companies are world renowned for data safety it is only a matter of time before data leaks user profiles.

Firephorm is a Firefox extension that is forging the cookies placed on the system to make the tracking system useless. It provides the option to forge the master cookie and the tracking cookies to either poison the system by using random cookies, using an opt-out cookie or from an UID list specified by the user.

firephorm

The Firefox extension modifies http requests and response headers and can also warn the user if a webpage request was redirected via Phorm's webwise.net.

Update: The Firefox extension is no longer available. It is likely that this is a reaction to Phorm not really making progress in the UK or Europe in regards to ISPs that have implemented the service.

According to Wikipedia, there are only a handful of ISPs that have partnered with Phorm openly: Telefonica in Brazil, TTNET-Türk in Turkey and Romtelecom in Romania.

Advertisement

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:


Previous Post: «
Next Post: »

Comments

  1. Sam Keen said on October 14, 2008 at 7:24 pm
    Reply

    This is pretty sweet.

  2. USBman said on October 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm
    Reply

    OK, I’m interested… expect there is no actual link to the extension on the Firephorm page!!!

    Any help?

  3. Matt said on October 14, 2008 at 8:59 pm
    Reply

    Another solution for this type of issue:
    Firefox + Noscript + CS Lite + Adblock Plus + OpenDNS.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.