Is CryptnetURL Cache a Security Vulnerability?
Posted on 2011-04-20
I was doing a little research into a certain set of "hidden" folders (hidden by default), and I wanted to get more information on their function, as well as whether or not they pose a security threat.
The hidden files on Windows 7 are located as follows (for those who don't already know):
C:>Users>(your user profile name)>AppData>LocalLow>Microsoft>CryptnetURLCache
Inside this folder are two subfolders, called "Content" and "MetaData"
Upon researching and Googling, I came across all kinds of contradictory and inconclusive information regarding their purpose.
- Are these folders a permanent (or even temporary) record of a user's search history / web activity?
- If these contain a record of surf activities, would they be touched by most "surfing trace cleaner" utilities?
- If these files are not deleted by most "surfing trace cleaner" type utilities, then can they/should they be modified manually?
- Why is the content encrypted, and how & when is the content decrypted?
- What is the primary function and purpose of this kind of encrypted, hidden (by default) folder?
- Do these encrypted and hidden folders pose a potential security threat to users?
Many millions of people worldwide use surf trace history utilities, designed to erase their recent searches, as well as their URL histories. It would be very good to know if an entirely separate database exists which completely avoids deletion (and thus making these utilities almost pointless, or at the very least futile).