OT: Cookies CAN get you spammed more -- E-mail security leak

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The security hole in both Netscape and IE could be used for more than "more and better" targeted spam.

In summary, the key point to look out for here is the technical progress in the banner ad business. If banner ad companies enter the Email servicing business they'll be putting themselves in a very good position to also know the identity of people who are surfing to Web sites. Using the technique I've outlined in this write-up, the Email servicing side of the business can easily provide Email addresses to the banner ad side of the business. This "progress" represents yet another step in the erosion of privacy on the Internet. The best solution to this problem, I believe, is a technical one. That is, Microsoft and Netscape should fix the security holes in their respective Web browser products that allow cookies to be sent out from HTML Email messages.


-- A (A@AisA.com), December 26, 1999


Or you can stop all cookies... but that will limit your surfing. Or you can get a good cookie cruncher, and surf in peace...hee hee, SIP is another nice product, kills all those new windows that crop up :-)

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), December 26, 1999.

Try AtGuard, from Walker, Richer & Quinn.

GREAT product. $30. Firewall AND cookie "assistant". Filters banner ads to. Fully configurable.

Best $30 I ever spent.

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), December 26, 1999.

Thanks guys -- I'll look them up. I had Luckman's Anonymous Cookie. It worked well for awhile, but either Windows trashed it or the cookie monsters figured out how to get around it (specifically, anything with "MSN" in it). So I thought I'd see if an upgrade, but evidently Luckman is no longer in business. All I can do now is after visiting a site that requires cookies is to delete them from cookies.txt which I keep in the desktop "Recent Docs" list. But that is after the fact.

Also be aware there are files named mm*.dat (where * is wildcard) scattered all over your harddrive (when using Netscape -- I don't know about IE) that relate to history and cookies that don't seem to have any information that I am interested in, like recent links visited, etc.

-- A (A@AisA.com), December 26, 1999.

More info at:


According to Simon Rakoff, president of The .Com Group, "Cookies are a great technology. When used properly they are beneficial to Web users. However, the way these firms are using cookies is concerning and probably not appropriate."
My comment: If a technology can be abused, it WILL be abused, despite all platitudes about "cain't we all jes' git along" or similar.

-- A (A@AisA.com), December 27, 1999.

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