AOL...firewall not stopping cookies

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by karll, Jan 17, 2005.

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  1. karll

    karll Guest

    I use AOL security edition 9.0 and zonealarm free and I have alot of cookies installed on my computer, I got alot of spyware on my pc and I don't know why.

    I use AOL with mcafree online virusscan (free for aol users)
    zonealarm

    What can I do to stop the spyware for getting to my pc, especially the tracking cookies?

    thanks
     
  2. BlitzenZeus

    BlitzenZeus Security Expert

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    Try using the functions of your browser, a true firewall is not responsible for filtering cookies.
     
  3. CrazyM

    CrazyM Firewall Expert

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    Unless AOL Security Edition 9 includes active content filtering you can configure it would not help with the spyware and cookies.

    WWW Privacy & Security is a good place to start. Be sure to check out the rest of Eric's site: http://www.spywarewarrior.com/uiuc/main.htm for a wealth of other information and links.
    At Javacool Software you will find utilities like SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard that will help also.

    Regards,

    CrazyM
     
  4. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Some firewalls also work by only blocking attempts by websites to read cookies - this is easier to do since there are several methods of writing a cookie which would all need to be handled to stop cookies from being written. However this can be a problem if you have a shared PC and do not want other users to see your cookies.

    Check out the Network Tools Analysis Page to see how effective your cookie blocking is (and whether Java/Javascript is being blocked also).

    To stop spyware you need to block ActiveX at least - Javacool's software can do this but using an alternative, more secure browser to Internet Explorer (like Firefox or Opera) is one of the surer methods of keeping your system clean.
     
  5. karll

    karll Guest

    Thanks but AOL uses Active X for mcafee online virusscan if I am not mistaken.

    Will spywareguard stop mcafee from working?
     
  6. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    SpywareGuard does not affect ActiveX but scans for "known" spyware (see the JavaCool SpywareGuard page for more information). SpywareBlaster prevents "known" spyware ActiveX from running - but McAfee's online scan should not be affected.

    Note that an ActiveX applet can do anything on your system - install software, delete files or even reboot your PC. From a security perspective therefore they should be blocked by default - any half-decent security software should then allow you to create exceptions to allow it for those sites you deem trustworthy.
     
  7. karll

    karll Guest

    I installed spyware guard last night and updated it, I still got cookies on my system and spyware and the reason is the AOL browser, I am sure I am not setting something right.

    I blocked all session cookies and blocked third party cookies and it's still the same.

    I'm gonna fix it more when I get back home, I have to get rid of this, I never had this problem before.

    I haven't gotten a virus yet on my pc but the spyware and tracking cookies are a no no in my book.
     
  8. timnicebutdim

    timnicebutdim Registered Member

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    Microsoft Antispyware is a good option to try ( windows xp only ) - its still in beta form but is pratically fine since its basically Giant Antispyware full software which was brought by Mircrosoft recently. It has real time protection also.

    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx

    You may be able to configure it to stop cookies, not sure however it will increase your protection from spyware/mailware problems.

    When you download and install update the definitions and do a full scan.
     
  9. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    The beta does not scan for cookies. When a MS rep was asked about that, the reply was "its on the radar".

    Overall it does do better than SpyBot and AdAware according to Eric L. Howes.

    Regards - Charles
     
  10. Sesshoumaru

    Sesshoumaru Registered Member

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  11. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    You should be able to use a third-party browser like Opera, Firefox (or even IE if you like living dangerously) with AOL running - I'd suggest trying these to see if they work better.

    What spyware are you picking up and what program is identifying it?
     
  12. timnicebutdim

    timnicebutdim Registered Member

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    I use AOL also and i am pretty sure that it has IE built in, so even if you are not using the IE browser the fact you are using AOL is the same difference.

    Although using Opera and Firewox to browse should protect from website content with aol open, as long as you don't browse using the aol browser which is the same as IE.

    Correct me if i am wrong but that is the way i have been led to believe it.
     
  13. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    You're right, AOL uses the IE shell. Easy enough to test, make a change to IE, such as prompt for an ActiveX, it'll show up in AOL.

    Regards - Charles
     
  14. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Did you check to see if sites could see cookies (using the Network Tools link in my previous post) and, if so, what was the result? As I stated, filtering software often works by preventing sites from reading cookies - so while you may see cookies appearing on your system, websites will not be able to access them.

    If you want to stop cookies being written to your system, then the best bet is to use the browser settings. Internet Explorer (and presumably the AOL thing too) does not offer "per site" cookie settings so you will need to consider an alterative browser like Firefox or Opera. Alternatively, the Pro version of Outpost Firewall has an Active Content filter that should stop cookies from being written (that of Outpost Free doesn't) so that may be worth investigating (bias warning: I use Outpost myself and moderate at the forums there). Other firewalls do offer cookie-blocking options, but I do not know which just block reads and which block writes also.
    Thanks for the confirmation - I don't use AOL myself so I was uncertain.
     
  15. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    What IE allows you to do: In Internet Tools > Privacy Tab > Sites. Add the addresses of the sites you want cookies blocked or accepted regardless of any other settings.

    In the advanced tab, cookie acceptance/denial can be prompted for on a by site basis.

    How AOl handles that, I don't know.

    Regards - Charles
     
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