Have you been to eBay lately? The auction site is a popular destination to buy new and used items. It may surprise you that eBay is running a local port scan when you access the site in a browser.
I verified the port scan on ebay.com and ebay.de using built-in developer tools of several web browsers. It is likely that other eBay sites will also run the port scan.
You can verify this easily. Use a browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Microsoft Edge or Vivaldi. Open a new Tab page and hit the F12 button to open the Developer Tools of the web browser. Switch to the Network tab in the Developer Tools and load the eBay website in the browser's address bar.
Wait for the page to load and look for 127.0.0.1 in the name in the list of connections. These are the scans that eBay performs when you connect to the site.
Bleeping Computer created a handy table that lists the ports:
|Remote Desktop Protocol||RDP||3389|
Most of the ports are used by remote desktop applications such as VNC, Teamviewer, or Windows Remote Desktop. The eBay name is an abbreviation of the remote desktop software.
Nullsweep, the site that reported the issue first, discovered that the port scans were not run on Linux client systems.
It is unclear why eBay is running the port scans. A likely explanation is that it is done to combat fraud, e.g. by taking over a computer, establishing a remote desktop connection and either making purchases on eBay, through fake auctions, or other means.
Reactions on Twitter and other social media sites are negative for the most part. Users criticize eBay for scanning ports at all, and for scanning ports of users who are not signed in to the site.
If you don't want your systems to be port scanned by eBay whenever you connect to the site, you may be able to do something about it.
The eBay site loads the check.js script from the following URL currently: https://src.ebay-us.com/fp/check.js
Something like ||src.ebay-us.com^*/check.js should work.
The URL may change and it is different when you connect to localized eBay sites, e.g. eBay.de.
The other option, to disable WebSockets entirely, may lead to incompatibilities and loading issues on sites. Still, it is possible in Firefox by setting the parameter network.
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