Get Started

Note: You can skip to the last step if you're using pre-existing FourthParty data.

1. Install FourthParty and supporting software.

Download the latest FourthParty source (tarball, zip). We recommend locating it in ~/fourthparty. (All paths for the remainder of this guide are relative to the install location.) You will also need Mozilla Firefox 4+ and Python 2.5+.

2. Load the Add-on SDK development environment.

FourthParty currently uses a slightly modified version of Mozilla Add-on SDK 1.0b5, located at addon-sdk/addon-sdk-1.0b5-fourthparty. To load the development environment, change directory to the Add-on SDK and run source bin/activate (Mac OS X, Linux, and Unix) or bin\activate (Windows). You can unload the development environment at any time with deactivate.

3. Launch Firefox with FourthParty.

Change directory to the FourthParty extension, located in extension. Use cfx run to launch Firefox with a clean, temporary profile and FourthParty. Note the location of the temporary profile. For additional runtime configuration options, including loading other extensions, see Mozilla's documentation on the cfx command.

4. Browse the web.

Use Firefox as you normally would. If you'd like to run a crawl, you may want to use an automation framework like MozMill, JSSh, Selenium, or Watir.

5. Save your FourthParty SQLite database.

FourthParty automatically generates a logging database, fourthparty.sqlite, in the current profile. Before closing Firefox copy the FourthParty database to another directory. Closing Firefox will delete the temporary profile, including the FourthParty database.

6. Analyze your FourthParty SQLite database.

The FourthParty database schema currently includes these tables: You can analyze the FourthParty database with any SQLite-compatible software. We recommend the SQLite command-line utility, SQLite Manager for Firefox, and SQLite Database Browser as starting points. For analysis that requires more than SQL, we recommend Python and the sqlite3 module. See the script in analysis for an example.

Stanford Security Lab
Stanford Security Lab
The Center for Internet and Society
Stanford Center for Internet and Society