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A Framework for Secure Web Browsing, Using Trusted Platform Module (TPM)



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Journal of Information Systems Security
Volume 17, Number 3 (2021)
Pages 163187
ISSN 1551-0123 (Print)
ISSN 1551-0808 (Online)
Harshad S. Wadkar — MKSSS’s Cummins College of Engineering for Women, India
Arun Mishra — Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, India
Information Institute Publishing, Washington DC, USA




The web browser is one of the most used applications to access the internet, available on desktops, laptops, and hand-held devices. These browsers have opened many avenues for a web attacker (hacker) to steal a user’s data stored on the user’s machine and in transit (from a web browser to the webserver). Cross-site scripting, insecure data transfer, and information disclosure are the most significantly reported browser-based attacks. The security misconfiguration of the browser is one of the main contributors to browser based attacks like information leakage, sharing of data with the third party; insecure data transfer. There is a need to reduce or minimize browser-based attacks by designing a framework for secure web browsing. The paper proposes a framework containing three modules. The first module is used to assess browser configuration using a machine learning algorithm. Once the browser is configured for secure browsing, the second module controls access to browser configuration files so that no malicious process can tamper those. The second module is proposed by making use of Trusted Platform Module. The compromised operating system gives the attacker complete access to all the data of an application (browser), regardless of how well the application is built and secured. To give the user trust in his (her) web browsing activity, there is a need to harden the host operating system configuration. To consider this aspect, a finite state machine model is proposed to assess the operating system configuration. This assessment will help the user to modify operating system parameter compositions. Our experiments showed that Firefox with a secure configuration provides better security and a reasonable page load performance compared to Chrome, Edge, and Firefox with default configurations. The paper proposes a novel approach for configuring the browser for secure browsing and maintaining the environment in a secure state and controlling it.




Browser security, Security misconfiguration, Trusted system.




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