Skip to content
No description, website, or topics provided.
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


scrape and test all firefox plugins for privacy concerns by seeing what data is collected and sent.

This project automates the process of finding plugins (currently with more than 1000 installs), installing each plugin within a fresh Firefox browser, and then monitoring traffic via the ZAP proxy as the browser navigates to a few pages. It then saves the data that was transmitted by the plugin for review.

Getting the project setup

This project requires python3 with pipenv. Once python is installed in your system, you can install the environment by running:

pipenv install

from the project root.

The project also depends on a postgres install. Configure a new user and run the db_setup.sql script to create the necessary tables. Once created, set your environment variables for the following:

export DB_USER=<username>
export DB_PASS=<password>
export DB_PORT=<postgres_port (defaults to 5432 if unset)>
export DB_HOST=<db_host (defaults to localhost if unset)>
export DB_NAME=<db_name (defaults to 'plugins' if unset)>

There should be a recent firefox binary for selenium in the repository, but if you get any firefox errors, you may have to find and update to the latest driver file

install ZAP. If you are running a snap supported linux version

sudo snap install zaproxy --classic

Otherwise refer to the homepage for installation instructions.

Running the project locally

Running the crawler. This will create a json file with information about all plugins with more than 1000 users.

cd crawler
pipenv run scrapy crawl privacy_monitor -o plugins.json

Start ZAP in headless mode

zaproxy -daemon -host -port 8080

Run the ingestor and then the tester:

pipenv run -i
pipenv run -t

Future potential enhancements

  • Integrate crawl funcionality into main
  • Increase test coverage - searches, additional sites
  • Add testing when plugin is "clicked" if possible

considerations when querying data

Message bodys are stored as byte arrays, since some data POSTed by plugins may include null bytes, which are not supported in Postgres TEXT types. To query that table and view as text, use the following query:

select encode(body, 'escape') as body from test_messages
You can’t perform that action at this time.