Sunday, May 29, 2005

Eric Peterson - Will somebody show me how cookies can be hacked?

Eric Peterson - Will somebody show me how cookies can be hacked?: "I was reading a particularly well-written piece about the cookie issue that I was interviewed and I came across this quote from Richard Stiennon, vice president of 'threat research' for Webroot, talking about his anti-spyware application:

'Now you can be a little more safe that your sexual preferences, your buying habits, your political stuff isn't being tracked by somebody who can ultimately use that information to foist stuff on you.' While the context is not 100% clear, whether Mr. Stiennon is talking about spyware or cookies, but this has come up before, the idea that cookies are easily used to determine the browsing habits (sexual preferences, buying habits, etc.) While I continue to hear rumor of this type of activity I am unable to find a single decent account of A) somebody's cookies being hacked and B) personal information (of any import) being gained."

This is an intresting post. Eric goes on to say "Given the type of activities that some people (not me) engage in on the Internet, activities that would be embarrassing or worse if discovered and reported, you'd think that if this were easy the so-called "cookie hackers" would have already published lists of people's browsing habits. Or perhaps, E! would have a nightly feature on "What's Paris Hilton browsing now!" ... you get the idea."

Sounds like there's alot of misconceptions around cookies and what they do and can be used for.

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