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Does anybody know any safe Firefox history viewing software for XP?


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#1 kurtgillis12

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 11:22 AM

It would be great if it worked on vista too! Thanks


Edited by hamluis, 22 March 2016 - 09:47 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Web Browsing/Email - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 01:01 PM

I am not sure what you are after. You can view your history inside of Firefox. If you cleared history or have the option checked to clear history on exit then no viewer will find your history.

 

Here is a utility to view Firefox history that works on XP and Vista and provides more info then Firefox's own History viewer.

 

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/mozilla_history_view.html



#3 kurtgillis12

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Posted 21 March 2016 - 02:06 PM

I am not sure what you are after. You can view your history inside of Firefox. If you cleared history or have the option checked to clear history on exit then no viewer will find your history.
 
Here is a utility to view Firefox history that works on XP and Vista and provides more info then Firefox's own History viewer.
 
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/mozilla_history_view.html


Does firefox not keep your history in some hidden file similar to how explorer would have everything you ever browsed in index.dat files, even if you deleted the history?

#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:05 AM

 

I am not sure what you are after. You can view your history inside of Firefox. If you cleared history or have the option checked to clear history on exit then no viewer will find your history.
 
Here is a utility to view Firefox history that works on XP and Vista and provides more info then Firefox's own History viewer.
 
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/mozilla_history_view.html


Does firefox not keep your history in some hidden file similar to how explorer would have everything you ever browsed in index.dat files, even if you deleted the history?

 

Not that I know of. The nirsoft page notes the file used to explore history is history.dat. The other file that I know of that hold history is places.sqlite in the profile folder. Open Firefox and select Help > Troubleshooting > Profile Folder. Click the Show Folder button. Open places.sqlite with notepad.



#5 rp88

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:13 PM

Post3
Although SOME traces may remain even after clearing firefox's history, clearing your cache with something like CCleaner, and flushing your dns any records remaining will not show much. They certainly won't be anything like as comprehensive as a full history. Other browsers definitely are harder to clear the history from, with more things remaining after clearing the history within them.


If history has been cleared on a computer and so has the cache and such then to get a full history one would need to use data recovery software to try and find if anything of the history remained on parts of the harddrive which, having been deleted, are no longer recognised by the computer as files but are still partially there.

Edited by rp88, 22 March 2016 - 01:13 PM.

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#6 kurtgillis12

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:20 PM

Post3
Although SOME traces may remain even after clearing firefox's history, clearing your cache with something like CCleaner, and flushing your dns any records remaining will not show much. They certainly won't be anything like as comprehensive as a full history. Other browsers definitely are harder to clear the history from, with more things remaining after clearing the history within them.
If history has been cleared on a computer and so has the cache and such then to get a full history one would need to use data recovery software to try and find if anything of the history remained on parts of the harddrive which, having been deleted, are no longer recognised by the computer as files but are still partially there.


interesting

Are things like index.dat files recoverable after they have been wiped by ccleaner?

#7 rp88

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:22 PM

Most data is recoverable to a degree unless the drive is written over after deleting the data. CCleaner can be used to write over free space for this purpose, but I was just talking about using it's functions which delete temp files. Wiping free space would take ages and probably isn't too healthy for a hard-drive to have done often.
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#8 ScathEnfys

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 07:28 PM

Most data is recoverable to a degree unless the drive is written over after deleting the data. CCleaner can be used to write over free space for this purpose, but I was just talking about using it's functions which delete temp files. Wiping free space would take ages and probably isn't too healthy for a hard-drive to have done often.

Even this won't stop a determined attacker. Sophisticated techniques can peel back layers of overwriting and reveal the original data. Data can be imprinted on places though to be non-static too, like RAM and the registers on your CPU. The good news? Unless you are hiding government secrets, you probably aren't going to have someone with the tools to perform that kind of inspection.


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#9 kurtgillis12

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 10:34 PM

Most data is recoverable to a degree unless the drive is written over after deleting the data. CCleaner can be used to write over free space for this purpose, but I was just talking about using it's functions which delete temp files. Wiping free space would take ages and probably isn't too healthy for a hard-drive to have done often.

Even this won't stop a determined attacker. Sophisticated techniques can peel back layers of overwriting and reveal the original data. Data can be imprinted on places though to be non-static too, like RAM and the registers on your CPU. The good news? Unless you are hiding government secrets, you probably aren't going to have someone with the tools to perform that kind of inspection.
I didn't think overwritten data could be recovered, very cool. Do common data recovery companies have the means to peel back layers like you said? I imagine it would be expensive if they did

Edited by kurtgillis12, 22 March 2016 - 10:35 PM.


#10 ScathEnfys

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 09:15 AM

I didn't think overwritten data could be recovered, very cool. Do common data recovery companies have the means to peel back layers like you said? I imagine it would be expensive if they did

I don't know for sure as I haven't looked into it. All I can say for certain is that it can be done, and probably at least some data recovery companies have it. I doubt a 100% perfect recovery, but it is enough to probably get readable documents.

Data recovery companies in general are very expensive. A specialized service like this would cost thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless you have made very powerful enemies, you are unlikely to have someone put that much effort into data recovery.

The only way to guarantee that data is gone is physical destruction. I believe that the US Military accomplishes this with the detonation of a charge placed so to destroy the HDDs, RAM, and CPU. Corporate regulations typically settle for overwriting HDD data several times with a variety of pseudorandom and static patterns your best bet if you want to resell a machine. If you are fine with destroying the disk, opening the drive up, scratching the platter thoroughly and running it over with the magnets inside the disk (careful, they are very strong!) is enough to deter anyone without a specific need for your data and a pile of cash to back them.
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#11 ScathEnfys

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 09:21 AM

(Double post, please ignore)

Edited by ScathEnfys, 23 March 2016 - 09:22 AM.

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#12 rp88

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:07 PM

"like RAM and the registers on your CPU"

That sort of stuff will be gone after a few restarts. When it comes to remains of data that a skilled attacker could search if they are looking for information from weeks ago they'll only be able to find deleted files on the harddrive and any log files* which may contain traces of activity.

*example: if a browser crashes while you're doing something it'll write a log file which might well include the URl you are visiting at the time. Such a log file might remain on your system, you might never realise it's there, but it could perhaps be found if someone knew where to look and had a lot of time. Also programs you had but then uninstalled may leave traces in the form of empty folders left on your C:\ drive or little things in the registry**.

**as a general rule don't worry about these, certainly never use any tool to "Clean" the registry, you stand a very high chance of damaging a registry key which is important.

Edited by rp88, 24 March 2016 - 02:07 PM.

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