Apple Prepares Fix for Safari Bug Allowing Websites to Decipher Your Recent Browsing Activity

Over the weekend, we reported on a bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB that can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS.

safari icon blue banner
Apple has since prepared a fix for the bug, according to a WebKit commit on GitHub, but the fix will not be available to users until Apple releases macOS Monterey, iOS 15, and iPadOS 15 updates with an updated version of Safari. Apple declined to comment when asked to provide a timeframe for a fix being released to the public.

The bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB for client-side data storage to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session. The bug could allow one website to track other websites the user visits in different tabs or windows, as the database names are often specific to each website, and sometimes the database names contain user-specific identifiers that could reveal a user's identity.

FingerprintJS has a live demo of the bug, which affects newer versions of browsers using Apple's open source browser engine WebKit, including Safari 15 for macOS and Safari on all versions of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. The bug also affects third-party browsers like Chrome and Edge on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, as Apple requires all iPhone and iPad browsers to use WebKit.

The bug does not affect Safari 14 for macOS or any browser on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, according to FingerprintJS, which has a blog post with more details.

Tag: Safari

Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
18 weeks ago

but the fix will not be available to users until Apple releases macOS Monterey, iOS 15, and iPadOS 15 updates with an updated version of Safari.
Why can't we have Safari separated from the OS? I didn't have to update macOS for iTunes updates. Never had to update iOS for updates to Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.

They do update Safari separate from macOS on older versions of macOS.. Why can't the same be done with the latest/current release of macOS (and iOS/iPadOS)?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
18 weeks ago

What do you mean Apple is preparing for a fix?

Apple just issued a fix for macOS and users can get it right here ('https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/') :p
I’m a big fan of Mozilla, Firefox browser. Been using it for years. Possibly a decade. It's too bad I'm addicted to Safari. But Firefox is my 2nd go-to.

Good suggestion though. ?☝️
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KaliYoni Avatar
18 weeks ago

The bug does not affect Safari 14 for macOS or any browser on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14
Yet again, upgrading right when a new macOS or iOS is released causes major problems for users! If I could get Tim Cook to do one thing, it would be to stop the forced annual releases of OS's. It's not like Apple would take a sales revenue hit from stretching out releases to 18 or 24 months...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
18 weeks ago
What do you mean Apple is preparing for a fix?

Apple just issued a fix for macOS and users can get it right here ('https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/') :p
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diamondsw Avatar
18 weeks ago

Why can't we have Safari separated from the OS? I didn't have to update macOS for iTunes updates. Never had to update iOS for updates to Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.

They do update Safari separate from macOS on older versions of macOS.. Why can't the same be done with the latest/current release of macOS (and iOS/iPadOS)?
Because Safari is the new IE. I only somewhat kid... Remember when we all blasted Microsoft for this exact behavior in Win98? :(
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ian87w Avatar
18 weeks ago

Using Firefox while Safari is being repaired is a great idea ?
Not when you are on iOS. Every browsers on iOS use the same Safari/Webkit engine, and are affected by this bug.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

homekit showdown 2 thumb

iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 Address HomeKit Vulnerability

Wednesday January 12, 2022 10:31 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor updates that include an important security fix for a known HomeKit vulnerability that was first discovered last year. According to Apple's security support document for the update, it addresses an issue that could cause a maliciously crafted HomeKit name to result in a denial of service, causing iPhones and iPads not to work. Apple...
ios 15

Apple Seeds iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 Release Candidates to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Thursday January 20, 2022 10:13 am PST by
Apple today seeded the release candidate versions of upcoming iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after the launch of the second betas and over a month after the launch of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been...
Safari Technology Preview Feature

Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 142 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Wednesday March 23, 2022 4:20 pm PDT by
Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari. Safari Technology Preview release 142 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS Subgrid, CSS Container Queries,...
safari icon blue banner

Apple Working on Safari Dark Mode Toggle for Viewing Specific Websites

Tuesday March 1, 2022 4:42 am PST by
Apple appears to be working on an upcoming Safari feature that will introduce a Dark mode user preference for individual websites, based on references found in open-source WebKit code. WebKit is Apple's browser engine that powers all browsers on iOS, and the new option, spotted by 9to5Mac, is referred in the GitHub-hosted WebKit code as "overriding the system color-scheme with a per-website...
iOS 15 General Feature Blue

Apple Releases iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 With Security Updates and Bug Fixes

Thursday February 10, 2022 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1, two minor updates to the iOS and iPadOS operating systems released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3.1 come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.3. The iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new...
iOS 15

Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday February 22, 2022 10:07 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after Apple seeded the third betas of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. Developers can download iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4 through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
safari icon blue banner

Microsoft Edge Looks Set to Overtake Safari as World's Second Most Popular Desktop Browser

Tuesday February 22, 2022 6:48 am PST by
Microsoft Edge is on the verge of overtaking Safari as the world's second most popular desktop browser, web analytics service StatCounter reports (via TechRadar). According to the data, Microsoft Edge is now used on 9.54 percent of desktops worldwide, a mere 0.3 percent behind Apple's Safari, which stands at 9.84 percent. Google Chrome continues to hold first place with an overwhelming 65.38 ...

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...