Passport.com - Spyware Cookie?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by WE Sim, Apr 16, 2002.

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  1. WE Sim

    WE Sim Guest

    Hi!  :eek:

    I ran PestPatrol v3.1 (dat at 12 Apr) and it identifies Passport.com (from MSN) as a spyware cookie.

    However, neither Ad-aware nor SpybotS&D identifies it as one.

    So, is this a false positive by PestPatrol?
     
  2. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Feb 11, 2002
    Posts:
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    A cookie is supposed to be a text file, not an executable.  It looks like PP got a little twisted here.
     
  3. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    Of course, one could make a very good case for anything coming from either MSN or passport as being 'spyware'! :) Pete
     
  4. Mike_Healan

    Mike_Healan Registered Member

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    Location:
    USA
    Well, considering Microsoft's privacy practices, arguably they're right. I think it's probably a mistake though.

    FYI, Adaware isn't going to detect cookies from most companies, only from those companies that are truly arrogant in tracking people online. Doubleclick, admonitor, sextracker, etc.
     
  5. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    I don't want my sex tracked.  What a disgusting idea.  Can we get 'em on Peeping Tom charges?  In any case, it's either a Gross invasion of Privacy or an Invasion of Gross Privacy.

    Your mileage may vary.
     
  6. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi WE sim,

    I don't have passport.com on my system, so I cannot confirm what you have found (I do have PestPatrol).

    You could post your question on the PP forum:
    http://pestpatrol.com/cgi-bin/UltimateBB.cgi

    I had a quick look overthere and so far I didn't see someone else mentioned it, so it might be a good idea to post it there!
     
  7. WE Sim

    WE Sim Guest

    Hi FanJ!

    I went to PestPatrol forum from your link, however, it requires registration before posting.

    Unless absolutely necessary I'll post it to PestPatrol forum otherwise I rather post it to forums which discuss a wide range of issues like here, Becky's, dslreports etc rather than specific to a software.

    Thanks anyway. Its a matter of time that other users would face the same false positive and raise the issue.

    Anyway, there's no harm being done as it is just a false positive. I'll wait for the next dat release before making a decision.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. David Stang

    David Stang Guest

    :oops:

    PestPatrol should not be finding any .com file as a cookie. Such a file might be a pest, of course, but at a minimum, things are misnamed here.

    I would like to correct this problem ASAP. Can you provide me, as an email attachment, a copy of this file?
     
  9. MickeyTheMan

    MickeyTheMan Security Expert

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    Posts:
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    There you go We Sim !
    David is the main Man at PP !
    He will have that investigated/corrected if need be in a flash ! :D
     
  10. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi David,

    Thanks for coming by !  :)


    WE Sim,
    Could you please send David that file? If you don't have his email-addy, drop me or Paul an IM. Thanks  :)


    Best regards, Jan.
     
  11. WE Sim

    WE Sim Guest

    Hi David Stang and everyone!

    Sorry about the lengthy file copied to here.

    Session Log

    Date: Apr-16-2002 7:25:21 PM
    User Name: Administrator
    MAC Address:
    Computer Name: PERSONAL
    File System Name: FAT32
    Volume Serial No: 457377773
    Windows Version: Microsoft Windows 2000 5.0.2195 Service Pack 2
    System Root: C:\WINNT
    Windows Registered Owner: WISELY SIM
    PestPatrol Version: 3.1 [Apr-13-2002]
    PestPatrol.DAT Version: Apr-12-2002
    Scanning for: 32,523 pests in 8,675 families.

    Auto Check for Spyware and Active Pests: Checked files in or referenced by 23 auto start areas of the registry, ini files, batch files, and directories, and checked for active spyware.

    Registry Entries Checked: 178
    Startup Files Scanned: 18
    Startup Bytes Scanned: 3,447,139
    Elapsed Time: 0.03 seconds

    File Areas Selected for Scanning:
     - C:\
     - D:\


    Scanning Stopped at User Request
    Scanning stopped prior to scan of c:\WINNT\system32\dllcache\convlog.exe

    Summary:
    Files in Selected Area: 913
    Files Scanned within Archives: 0
    Total Files Scanned: 119
    Bytes Scanned: 13,784,142
    Elapsed Time: 1.46 seconds
    Pests This Scan: 2
    Scanned 119 files and 13,784,142 bytes at a rate of 94,412 bytes per second using Patent-Pending DeepSearch Technology.Pest Name,Path,PVT (Pest Verification Token),MD5
    Passport.com Spyware Cookie,C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\administrator@passport[3].txt,881696975,48ccc7b7f56f50f4085b082e341948a6
    Passport.com Spyware Cookie,C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\administrator@passport[1].txt,1869420366,30b6146e8367433ad61142a51ed46e5a
     
  12. Mike_Healan

    Mike_Healan Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    USA
    hmmmm.......

    I'm guessing here. I think what PP likely found was a cookie from passport.com which it tagged as a pest, not a file called passport.com.

    Is that right? Or do I need to go make more coffee?
     
  13. WE Sim

    WE Sim Guest

    Hi!

    Just downloaded, installed and ran the latest dat from PestPatrol, dated 19 Apr, and still found Passport.com reported as before. Is it a false positive? Apparently, there's no reply from David...hmmm....


    Session Log

    Date: Apr-23-2002 10:22:53 PM
    User Name: Administrator
    MAC Address:
    Computer Name: PERSONAL
    File System Name: FAT32
    Volume Serial No: 457377773
    Windows Version: Microsoft Windows 2000 5.0.2195 Service Pack 2
    System Root: C:\WINNT
    Windows Registered Owner: WISELY SIM
    PestPatrol Version: 3.1 [Apr-13-2002]
    PestPatrol.DAT Version: Apr-19-2002
    Scanning for: 33,235 pests in 9,066 families.

    Auto Check for Spyware and Active Pests: Checked files in or referenced by 23 auto start areas of the registry, ini files, batch files, and directories, and checked for active spyware.

    Registry Entries Checked: 178
    Startup Files Scanned: 19
    Startup Bytes Scanned: 3,703,139
    Elapsed Time: 0.04 seconds

    File Areas Selected for Scanning:
     - C:\
     - D:\


    Summary:
    Files in Selected Area: 28,922
    Files Scanned within Archives: 0
    Total Files Scanned: 5,506
    Bytes Scanned: 915,885,614
    Elapsed Time: 66 seconds
    Pests This Scan: 2
    Scanned 5,506 files and 915,885,614 bytes at a rate of 138,771 bytes per second using Patent-Pending DeepSearch Technology.Pest Name,Path,PVT (Pest Verification Token),MD5
    Passport.com Spyware Cookie,C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\administrator@passport[3].txt,881696975,48ccc7b7f56f50f4085b082e341948a6
    Passport.com Spyware Cookie,C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\administrator@passport[1].txt,1869420366,30b6146e8367433ad61142a51ed46e5a
     
  14. selvan777

    selvan777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    27
    Location:
    Folsom, CA. US
    I too am getting the same false positive, PP keeps deleting my passport cookie. I keep getting an error when I try updating as pasted below, although my last update was yesterday. I tried going to http://download.pestpatrol.com/downloads/components/ manually but get a "The page cannot be displayed" page. Anyone else not able to get updates? Is there another way to get updates?

    Sep 16 2004 12:30:14 PPUpdater version 4.4.3.36
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:14 Reading c:\Program Files\PestPatrol\PestPatrol.ini
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:14 Updating from http://download.pestpatrol.com/downloads/components/
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:14 Updating to c:\Program Files\PestPatrol\
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:16 Stopping CookiePatrol.exe
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:17 Stopping PPMemCheck.exe
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:18 Stopping PPControl.exe
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:20 Contacting download site ...(http://download.pestpatrol.com/downloads/components/)
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:21 No internet connection available
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:21 Restarting CookiePatrol.exe
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:22 Restarting PPMemCheck.exe
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:22 Restarting PPControl.exe
    Sep 16 2004 12:30:23 There were errors
     
  15. Infinity

    Infinity Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    2,651
    I have the passport F/P too. still no problem after deleting it.

    pitty enough...
     
  16. dread

    dread Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Posts:
    195
    I dont think it is a false positive. That passport junk does keep track of you. Its for alot of stuff, groups,regular chat, hotmail, playing them games, and for other stuff to http://www.passport.net/consumer/consumerqa.asp?lc=1033#SSI_WhatisPP
    http://www.passport.net/Consumer/PrivacyPolicy.asp?lc=1033
    You see what spyware cookies are http://research.pestpatrol.com/WhitePapers/About_Cookies.asp
    So it is cause of what the passport does http://www.passport.net/Consumer/PrivacyPolicy.asp?lc=1033 To the best of knowledge anyway. That error you got selvan777 means it cannot find the server. Either the server is down or something is blocking the update program from accessing to the interent like firewall, bad internet connection etc... It did that to me the other day, I tried back later and updated. Yes there is another way http://www.pestpatrol.com/Support/Downloads.asp
     
  17. selvan777

    selvan777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Posts:
    27
    Location:
    Folsom, CA. US
    I tried again much later and the updates worked fine, thanks.

    Looks like it's time to give up the use of passport.net's cookie.
     
  18. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Posts:
    3,647
    It's a cookie for using MSN's services, hotmail, MSN messenger etc etc...
    Passport.com is not a malicious website nor does it implant any spyware on your system.
     
  19. dread

    dread Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Posts:
    195
    I never siad or meant that it was to implant spyware or any anything else on you computer but it does track you and it is used for a wide range of things and sites including non msn or microsoft sites. I think thats why it is considered a spyware cookie http://www.microsoft.com/net/services/passport/business.asp From that list you can see it is quite large.
     
  20. Jackfox

    Jackfox Guest

    I've always wondered about how people decide to classify a cookie as a "spyware" or "tracking" cookie, while other cookies are okay.

    After all isn't that the purpose of a cookie, to allow a website to remember you?

    I suppose a tracking or spyware cookie would be one that

    1) Be permanent/long expiry date (session cookies are not spyware/tracking cookies??)

    and more importantly

    2) Is accessed when the user visits a wide range of websites domains (eg adservers that have objects, banners embeded in many other websites)

    A cookie such as one generated by Wilders would not be a tracking cookie, because it is only used in one website. One by doubleclick or even MS might be accessed when the user visits a wide range of websites on different domains, because these domains also host objects, banners etc from such "spying" sites.


    Perhaps what the cookies stores is also a important citeria on deciding whether it is a spyware cookie, but this is a very vague citeria.
     
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