Innovation >> Impact

Web Tripwire Security Software

Research shows that some ISPs have started injecting advertisements into web pages requested by their end users. As a result, we set out to measure how often web pages are changed after leaving the server and before arriving in the user's browser.

At a high level, we found that approximately 1% of users receive pages that have been changed "in-flight." Most of these changes are caused by software that users install on their computer (such as personal firewalls or ad blockers), but many are caused by agents in the network, such as ISPs and enterprise firewalls. Worse, we found that many of the products that users install introduce bugs or security vulnerabilities into the web pages they request.

As a result, publishers could choose to serve their pages over HTTPS rather than HTTP, using encryption to preserve page integrity. However, this is an expensive solution in many respects, so we offer an alternative integrity check. We propose that publishers deploy web tripwires to detect changes to their web pages. A web tripwire is simple JavaScript code that can detect textual changes to an HTTP web page, with the ability to report any changes to the user and to the publisher.

Licensing Information

Web Tripwire Security Software is one of the many software programs and tools created at the University of Washington available through our Express Licensing Program. These agreements have standard terms and conditions that allow for rapid licensing by companies, organizations, or individuals.

The conditions and financial terms of this license apply only to those who download the license, sign it and return it "as is" to the UW Center for Commercialization. Some Express Licenses may be modified for an additional cost. Other licensing arrangements may be available.

For Licensing Information/Customer Service

Express Licensing Program
UW CoMotion
4311 11th Avenue NE, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98105-4608
Phone: (206) 543-3970
Fax: (206) 616-3322