Aug 052010
 

Last updated on November 21st, 2015

LSO Super Cookies?  Well It was News to Me!

I this article in “Windows Secrets” by Woody Leonhard, Eliminate Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookies, he describes how they are generated as un-deletable cookies by Flash applications, which compromises user privacy, in the sense that they do stuff to your hard disc and network without your permission!

So What I Did

….was download and install the recommended Firefox add-on (Better Privacy) from here, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6623/

LSOs from Google being stored

LSOs from Google being stored

I then deleted all of the hundreds of LSOs from my hard-drive!

Then I fired up Firefox.

I then clicked on a Google bookmark, went to GMail and then got prompted by the Better Privacy tool that THREE LSOs had been dumped on my hard drive!  (see screenshot).

And I always thought Google web pages used ordinary cookies…?  After all, where’s the Flash on a simple Google page?

After all, the actual technical name for this poop dust is a Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookie! This is live tracking of LSOs in the tool, and it seriously slowed down the PC, so I’ve turned it off now.

What it Means

I think it’s time to look seriously at the problem, specifically things that Steve Jobs from Apple has being saying with regard to Adobe and their Flash application, Google and Microsoft.

In the past I’ve taken all his speeches with a pinch of salt because it always sounded like corporate jealousy and back-biting (his company being just as protectionist and restrictive as all the rest), but now it looks like he has a point.
The trouble is that the cat is already out of the bag and it looks like LSOs are being used as a lingering storage solution far removed from their Flash origins.

But what can I do?  After all,  I like using Google stuff!

What can YOU do?

  One Response to “Google and GMail use LSO Super Cookies”

  1. ..and not just Google or Adobe flash either!

    I've got:

    cloudfront.net

    bbc.co.uk

    ytimg.com

    trafficmavericks.com

    suitesmart.com

    docstoc.com

    blogtalkradio.com

    nsf.gov

    Some of these are the roots of sub-domains. Some I know are image or advert servers.

    But y'know – why should any need exist for persistent information to be dropped into MY pc that the standard "Delete Cache/Cookies" request to the browser does not do.

    I mean – it's MY pc and I decide what I want on it! After all, if some government agency comes tapping on my door, it's ME that carries the can for what's on MY computer, isn't it?

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