The Internet isn't always anonymous; it's possible to identify a user via the Internet Protocol address unique to each computer accessing the Internet or Media Access Control address of some hardware. However, both of these identifiers can be faked with the right software.
Now scientists have found another unique identifier that acts almost like a fingerprint for each individual computer: the graphics card.
Researchers from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and the Dutch security firm, Intrinsic ID, discovered that there are physical differences between graphics cards that can be detected by software.
These differences can't be duplicated because they're a random result of producing millions of processors. The researchers dubbed the differences "physically unclonable functions found in standard PC components," or PUFFIN.