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Firefox and tracking cookies, as well as other browers and websites?

Posted on 2011-05-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
In recent weeks, my system has let in the fake Vista Anti-Virus 2011.
I am sure that it got in through Firefox or a website visited using FF.

Today, I have started a test. I know which websites I visit using FF.
Hotmail is one as is Google, maybe Ebay, and a few others.

Today, I opened my FF > tools > options > deleted all cookies. This list was fairly long. I wanted to try to see which websites are resulting in which tracking cookies.

Then I logged into a website that I visit frequently using FF. About an hour later, I went back to tools and looked at the list of cookies. Sure enough there were only 2, for the specific website that I was logged into.

3.5 hours later, I went back and looked again. Now there are 3 tracking cookies and the 3rd one is Google. However, I have not used Google with Firefox.

So, either Google figured a way to get their cookie in my FF, or FF let them in.
Which should-could be true?

I want to do this daily, until I visit all my Firefox websites, and see which tracking cookies are connected to which websites.

Any discussion on browsers and websites and the "number of, and frequency of" tracking cookies, depending on browers or "types" of websites?
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Question by:nickg5
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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 35731060
Firefox does have the google search integrated in the browser (top right) so perhaps that is how the google cookie got there?
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 35731088
top right on mine, is Bing (beside the address window)

Bing = Microsoft = Google Hater = So who is Firefox's better buddy?
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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 35731119
You can change the search provider, it does not have to be bing.
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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 35731139
Also some of the websites you visited could have had some google integration, such as google analytics.
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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 35731152
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 35731310
on Sunday I went to remove all the FF cookies. It was a long list in alphabetical order.

Since I only frequent 3-4-5 sites using FF, I wondered which of these sites is resulting in the most of these tracking cookies.
If in fact, most could be attributed to one or two specific sites.

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Expert Comment

by:lgg733
ID: 35731349
Most sites use google analytics. I would have to see the list of cookies and/or sites to get an idea about the others. Out of curiosity why are you looking so deep into this? Just looking to find out how you got the virus?
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 35731425

I was just curious on FF cookies, since I only use FF for maybe 4-5 sites and nothing else. The site I am logged into now, is not the source it seems (of all those tracking cooklies) because the names on the cookie list do not change.

And on FF tracking cookies can be removed individually.

And as far as I know, they can not on IE or Vista, it appears to be "all or none" (to be deleted)
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 35733556
I logged out of that account and then cleared all my FF cookies, and closed the browser. Then I logged into Hotmail using FF and went to one trusted website.
Here are the cookies that are now on the FF list:
adnxs.com
atdmt.com
ebay.com
doubleclick.com
h.live.com
invitemedia.com
media6degrees.com
mookie1.com
quantserve.com
scorecardresearch.com
servebyy.com
turn.com
tynt.com
yahoo.com

So, all of that from Hotmail and one other site.
I did leave the cookies for MSN and the website off the list.
I did not use FF for Ebay or Yahoo, but they are on the list.
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Accepted Solution

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lgg733 earned 1300 total points
ID: 35733598
Probably from the ads on the site. Keep in mind a website can pull data such as an ad or script from another server on another domain. So just because you go to website.com does not mean you will only have 1 cookie from website.com.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 35733628
thanks
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