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Tracing cookies


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#1
Serrik

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Is it possible to check which sites put what cookies on your system, and which sites have written to those cookies after?
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#2
DMME

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I do not know about your last question, but I know that you can check whihc sites put Cookies on your PC in the following ways:

Web Browsers
Firefox: Tools> Options> Privacy> Show Cookies (You can also set options to disable certain sites from setting cookies.)

Internet Explorer: Tools> Internet Options> General> Temporary Internet Files area> Settings. You can view all the Cookies and Temp. Internet Files currently on your PC.

Hope this helps!! :whistling:
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#3
piper

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You can see the list of cookies by opening Internet Explorer, Tools menu, Internet Options, General tab, Temporary Internet Files section, Settings button, View Files.

Hope this helps.
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#4
Serrik

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Well for example, in firefox, I have a cookie called hitbox.com and the domain listed is hitbox.com and I know I have never been to hitbox.com

I would like to find out what site gave me that cookie. Is it possible to figure out after the fact?

Edited by Serrik, 18 December 2006 - 10:38 PM.

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#5
DMME

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Yes and No. There is no record on your computer of what site downloaded that Cookie onto your computer. It was most likely a website with Hitbox advertising and/or Hitbox itself on it.
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#6
piper

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As DMME indicated, you won't be able to pinpoint the website solely based on the cookie.

Here's an excerpt from The Unofficial Cookie FAQ]:

2.9 How did I get a cookie from doubleclick? I've never been there!

In section 3.3, we'll see that a server cannot set a cookie for a domain that it isn't a member of. However, almost every Web user has gotten a cookie from "ad.doubleclick.net" at one time or another, without ever visiting there. DoubleClick and other advertisers have employed a clever solution that enables them to track users and serve media content without violating this rule.

Most sites on the Internet do not keep their advertisements locally. Rather, they subscribe to a media service that places those ads for them. This is accomplished via a simple HTML call to the media service. When a page is requested, it is assembled through many HTTP requests by the browser. First, there is a request for the HTML itself. Then, everything the HTML needs is requested, including images, sounds, and plug-ins.

The call to the media service is an HTTP request for an image. Once the request is made to the media service, it can return more than just an ad. It can also return a cookie. Or, if is has given the user a cookie previously, it can read that first, and check to see what ad to send. The net result is that the user gets a cookie from the media service without ever having visited it.

This usage of cookies is the most controversial, and has led to the polarized opinions on cookies, privacy, and the Internet.
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#7
Serrik

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Thanks for the information.

Further to that...

Would those plug ins for Firefox that block ads built into websites prevent some of these cookies from going on to a system?
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#8
DMME

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NoScript will not, however, I do not know about AdBlock. I do not currently use that program so I don't know. I know that when using NoScript the cookies are still downloaded to your PC.

I just checked. :whistling:

If you are using Firefox, go to: Tools> Options> Privacy> In the Cookies section click on Exceptions. In there you can type what specific sites you want to prevent from downloading Cookies.

Hope that solves your problem!
~DMME

Edited by DMME, 19 December 2006 - 01:41 PM.

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