Google Spyware is still not removed



  • @gwen-dragon OK, reported.



  • @stilgarwolf @gwen-dragon : Do you use notifications? Please check chrome://settings/content/notifications.
    If yes:

    • you allowed notifications before
    • a cookie (google. com - Channel-ID) was set
    • on every Vivaldi start you will get at once a connection to the described IP-address on port 5228 (keep-alive)

    For testing purpose: www.utopia.de is using notifications.

    Windows 10 Pro. Vivaldi 1.13 (last stable)


  • Moderator

    Unconfirmed bug VB-34858 "Vivaldi connects to Google at startup on some computers"
    Our security dev @yngve could not reproduce it. He says all is deactivated.

    Questions to all of you having concerns about Vivaldi sending to somewhere:
    Do you use Google drive on your PC?
    Is any Google software running on your PC at the moment you use Vivaldi?
    Did you test it with a fresh Vivaldi profile?



  • @gwen-dragon

    • Google drive: no
    • any Google software: no
    • tested with fresh Vivaldi standalone installations (1.12 and 1.13)

    Steps to reproduce:
    on a fresh Vivaldi 1.13 Stable installation, no extension.

    • Settings --> Privacy: disabled all "Third Party Services")
    • Settings --> Startup -> Homepage: "blank page"
    • Settings --> Startup -> Startup with: last session
    • visit utopia.de -> allow notifications
    • close all tabs, close Vivaldi
    • restart Vivaldi with the log command
    • the Vivaldi logfile and the firewall (G-Data, non free) shows the entry on port 5228

    How can I send the logfile if I'm not the originator of the bugreport?


  • Moderator

    @mottenmouse Did you have made a bugreport already?
    You can reply to bugtracker mail and add the log as attachment.



  • @gwen-dragon No I didn't make a bugreport. I want to send the logfile direct to VB-34858. I will create a new bugreport with the same title and send the attachment in reply to the bugreport mail.
    New bugreport: (VB-35103) "Vivaldi connects to Google at startup, if notifications are allowed".
    Logfile was send in reply to the bugreport mail.



  • @ayespy said in Google Spyware is still not removed:

    the only connections with Google are to compare version numbers/check for an update and to see if he browser wants to "sign in" (which it can't, being a non-Chrome browser)

    I'm not sure what you mean by that, but Slimjet is a non-Chrome browser that signs into and uses Google user accounts.


  • Moderator

    @paul1149 Pretty sure SlimJet is not non-Chrome, but rather modified Chrome.



  • @ayespy Thanks. Interesting.


  • Moderator

    @mottenmouse you activated the push notification to connect to google GCM Server.
    That will add a connection. See vivaldi://gcm-internals/
    Connection goes away if you purge GCM Store
    Background for GCM https://developers.google.com/cloud-messaging/gcm

    Related to report: VB-34858 "Vivaldi connects to Google at startup on some computers"

    Our security dev says: not a spyware issue.



  • @gwen-dragon said in Google Spyware is still not removed:

    That will add a connection. See vivaldi://gcm-internals/

    A new page !!
    Hmm, apparently GCM involves time travel, should we be concerned ?

    Next Checkin Tuesday, 2 January 1601 at 23:58:45

    😆 Slightly overdue!!


  • Moderator

    @tbgbe said in Google Spyware is still not removed:

    A new page !!

    You need more, dear? See this richness of many, many, many URLs at vivaldi://vivaldi-urls 😉

    @tbgbe said in Google Spyware is still not removed:

    apparently GCM involves time travel, should we be concerned ?

    Next Checkin Tuesday, 2 January 1601 at 23:58:45

    Slightly overdue!!

    But Chrom* has the same. Check it in Chromium 62 with chrome://gcm-internals



  • @gwen-dragon said in Google Spyware is still not removed:

    Check it in Chromium 62

    No chrom* on my PC.
    Only Vivaldi and Opera using chrom* engine.
    On Opera(dev) all entries on the internal gcm page are blank/empty, nothing enabled.

    However, I'm not expecting to go to 1601 soon 🙂


  • Vivaldi Team

    There is no "spyware" involved here.

    The two main reasons for Vivaldi to access Google servers automatically are:

    • Downloading and updating necessary components, the two major ones are the Certificate component and the Widevine video decoder. The certificate component performs extra checks on certificates, including revocation. The list of components is available on this internal page vivaldi://components

    • Downloading and updating the Safe Browsing blacklist. This is a so-called Bloom filter. This system works by calculating a very big number (hash) for the URL and parts of it. Then a few digits (32 bits) of these numbers are used to check in the local filter database. If the entry corresponding to the smaller number indicates that the URL may be blacklisted, Vivaldi uses more digits from the candidate number to request more information from the online Safe Browsing database, if still a possible blacklist, more data, using more digits of the number, are requested, until the server sends a list of URLs that are blacklisted. If one of the URLs is a match, then the page is block. At no time does Vivaldi send the URL to the server. The use of calculated hashes means that two almost identical URLs have wildly different hashes, but two wildly different URLs can have the same calculated hash (especially if one is using just a few digits). It is also almost impossible to reverse the calculation to get the original URL. These two points mean that it is not really possible for Google (or anyone) seeing the hash to tell which URL the user visited (in the case of the URL list, one might reasonably assume it was one of those, but it is still not a sure thing).

    In neither case does Vivaldi send any cookies to the servers; only the IP address is, as always, known to the servers.

    With respect to the connections to mtalk.google.com, this server is Google's Push Notifications server aka (Google Cloud Messaging, GCM). One of its uses is updates for a user's Sync data, which we are have disabled, since our Sync system uses a different system for such notification. Another use of this service is "Push Notifications" aka "Notification" from web sites. Whenever the user accepts Notifications from a website, persistent actions for receiving and handling these notifications are registered in Vivaldi, and among these actions is the establishment of a persistent connection to the GCM server, to listen for the notifications, and these connections are re-established immediately when Vivaldi starts. IOW, the connections to mtalk.google.com were initiated and configured by the user. Relevant URLs for this is chrome://settings/content/notifications , chrome://settings/siteData and vivaldi://gcm-internals

    I hope this clears up some of the questions about this.



  • @yngve Much appreciate the clarification!


  • Moderator

    The article is good to reduce concerns and fear of users.



  • @gwen-dragon cc @yngve @jon Indeed. In general, I'd be looking forward to a more technical and detailed blog entry regarding Vivaldi and privacy. More in-depth than the admittedly fantastic TOS. After all one of my main reasons to use Vivaldi is wanting to shrink my use of Google products. And I'm sure I'm not alone with this.



  • Funnily, I'm seeing this just now; I might have reacted earlier...

    @matt2kay said in Google Spyware is still not removed:

    I'd be looking forward to a more technical and detailed blog entry regarding Vivaldi and privacy

    Do you have specific information regarding privacy (and/or implementation) you are hoping for? Or do you have a specific field where you'd like more technical information?

    I think the above post clarifies most items with regard to connections to Google. It does not mention the often-criticized 224.x.x.x (or similar) multicast addresses, which in most scenarios will only be LAN-only.



  • @morg42 As I wrote in the original post I was being general and I see https://vivaldi.com/blog/vivaldi-different-from-chrome/ as the mission statement regarding privacy and the use of Chromium I was thinking about and hoping for.


 

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