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Why don't cookie values change after I log in or out?

Posted on 2008-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
When I open the cookie file, I see the following after first arriving at the site:
.ASPXANONYMOUS
ry90wcFvyQEkAAAAYTI2MjEyYTUtNjViNS00YWFjLTgzNzAtYjU3Mjc2MGYzM2Y2GCZGkGYSnRI5d5xGjrkNU3dWIjw1
havanesenation.com/
9216
3243858944
29978561
3932914064
29964591

After I log in, the values are all identical.  I know for a fact I'm logged in (using isauthenticated).  

I'm currently using a second authentication system for the forum module, with separate un and pw subkeys, and I want to simplify to a single system.  Hence, to gain a more complete understanding, I'm trying to understand what the default membership cookies look like when authenticated and when anonymous.

thanks
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Question by:lotzaquestions
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Expert Comment

by:edster9999
ID: 22825864
If it doesn't change then to cookie does not keep your status.  
It is just a marker so the system know that you are you.
This is how most of them work.
When you login the server marks you as logged in - probably adds a record to the database with time stamp on it.
and gives you this random number as a cookie (and stores the same number on the database as well).
Your id marker is not updated or changed as you log in or out.
Next time you come back you are not identified as your session has expired.
Now it asks for cookie and your return that number.  It looks that up in the database and knows that the only person with that id is you.
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Author Comment

by:lotzaquestions
ID: 22827574
if I understand correctly, you're saying that the cookie contains an ID to get to additional data, such as login status, from the database.  I checked the standard user-related tables in the database (eg. aspnet_Membership, aspnet_Users, etc) and don't see any indication of current login status in any table.  Do you (or does anybody) know exactly where this data is maintained throughout the session?  
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Accepted Solution

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edster9999 earned 200 total points
ID: 22831413
Yes that is the what they normally contain.  A look up value or pointer to your account.

Is there a list of login times or sessions ?  This would not have a value saying '1' for logged in - it could instead be based on the time.  If there is an value for your session in the last 15 minutes (example) you are consider logged in.
The server could show a list of logged in people by searching that database for session records < 15 mins
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Author Comment

by:lotzaquestions
ID: 22831623
Thanks, that answers the question.  I checked the aspnet_Users table and there is a LastActivityDate field that updates when user logs in.  
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