Is every website stored in registry?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by tonyseeking, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. tonyseeking

    tonyseeking Former Poster

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    Someone told me that every single website I visit is permanently stored into the Windows Vista Registry. Is that true?

    And if so, how do I clean the registry of all websites?
     
  2. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    They're speaking, not of the registry, but of the new tricks they've thrown into Vista with the index.dat files. Here's a good place to start with taking care of that. This is for Vista only.
     
  3. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    If I understand correctly (the link), in Vista index.dat cannot be removed ?

    What about overwriting it, like Webroot's Window Washer can under XP (not sure if it overwrites ALL index.dat files) ?
     
  4. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    They can be removed (cleaned), but as always, it requires a reboot. The trick is in finding them. Some software is able to do this properly for Vista index.dat files, most don't.

    The Vista index.dat files should be located here:


    \Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat
    \Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\index.dat
    \Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\low\index.dat
    \Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\Content.IE5\index.dat


    My advice: use CCleaner version v2.05.555 or higher and even then double check with one of the freeware index.dat viewers.

    Again, all this all relates to Windows Vista. Windows XP index.dat files aren't quite so well-hidden. Why Microsoft even has these files in Windows is a subject of interest. It clearly does not "speed up" cached websites as Microsoft claims as that's the purpose of the TIF and once everything is deleted from the browser by a normal user - index.dat remains and nothing is "sped up". The best guess is it's a nod to law enforcement for forensics use. Period. It serves no other purpose.
     
  5. Togg

    Togg Registered Member

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    XP apparently has some encrypted registry keys which hold data about websites etc., but I have no idea if they exist in Vista as well; http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com/abc3/v29/vic29.htm

    Whatever, CCleaner and MRU Blaster (despite being out of date) will clean or delete these so called 'User Assist' keys in XP (as well as the index.dat files), but I have no idea if these programs work with Vista.
     
  6. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    OMG I just read this. I am shocked! They have made it nearly impossible to prevent the logging that they do.....or even to find it. I am going to buy this product for my Vista computer, assuming that it works on a 64 bit Vista.

    But how about XP??
     
  7. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    I usually just use R-wipe & clean, and Tune up Utilities 2009's 1 click maintenance to take care of this, but last night I ran Xp repair pro, and it found all kinds of registry entries that contained odd names of files pertaining to history on my Machine, not to mention all the other crap I found with it that contained history, I was like wow, also after running that scan and cleaning my machine with xp repair pro, my machine is faster than it has been seance I first installed XP like 100% WOW, my machine finally boots fast and runs like new again:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  8. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I have not tried XP Repair Pro. I have R-Wipe though. My computer runs faster after running Sweepi followed by Ccleaner. I have sweepi set to overwrite and complete wipe.

    Have you tried Sweepi?
     
  9. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    In my best Billy Mays voice:
    Call in the next ten minutes and receive a freeeee RAM optimizer!
     
  10. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    Now thats just a flat out rude dude!

    Xp Repair Pro is one of the best Utility softwares I have used so far, and trust me I have tested almost every one of them out their!
     
  11. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    So do you think that these cleaners erase the dat files in Vista?
     
  12. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    No, that was a joke. You sounded as enthusiastic as Billy Mays on TV. :rolleyes: Everything really isn't a personal attack on you.
     
  13. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    "Sandboxie" prevents writing to disk so therefore it should also prevent what sites u visit from being stored in registry and index dat if u use Sandboxie?
     
  14. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    (Slightly offtopic) Keep in mind that index.dat files store more than visited sites, so sandboxie solves only part of the problem.
     
  15. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    SandboxIE doesn't prevent writing to the disk, it only prevents access to to the OS, you need to configure eraser to erase the contents of the sandbox, or you can go to C:\Sandbox and manually erase the contents yourself!

    Can you please specify more on this subject, I do not agree, the index.dat files will be erased when the user chooses to erase the contents of the sandbox.

    So Sandboxie does solve the problem, as long as your running your browser within the sandbox, and you erase the contents when you are done!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  16. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    You can also simply delete the sandbox. Again, it all depends on your own personal threat model. Sandboxie has quickly evolved from a security program to a privacy program, something I think was needed and is a good thing. The emphasis on the development of the product has been on privacy.

    I still think a sandboxie and Deep Freeze/Returnil solution offers Windows users the most privacy as well as protection from malware of all kinds. Throw in a router for hardware firewall protection and a program like Anti-Executable and really, that's all 99.9% of users would ever need. No reason to buy or download a single other "security" program.
     
  17. siberianwolf

    siberianwolf Registered Member

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    in order to delete/erase the index.dat file in vista, i use a bootable/live linux dvd, then proceed to the partition which stores the windows os files, and then delete/erase them under linux. my way.
     
  18. axle00

    axle00 Registered Member

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    Why not just use Firefox instead of IE, then you won't have to worry about the index.dat file?
     
  19. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    You still have to worry about index.dat file from c:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\History folder. It contains some of the files you accessed during normal windows operations.
     
  20. Togg

    Togg Registered Member

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    Nautilus is right. I use only Opera and, very occasionally, Firefox, but if I use one of the many free index.dat viewers which are available, I can see lots of information about what pages I've visited etc.

    I did once have a tool that allowed me to see the content of the User Assist keys in the Registry as well, but I 'lost' it and the site I got it from has closed because the owner graduated!
     
  21. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    Use SandboxIE when you don't want index.dat files being written to the OS! o_O
     
  22. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I use it, but not on my Vista 64 bit. I hate that it is not compatible. Neither is Returnil.:'(
     
  23. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    (above statement related to a question about using a browser different from IE)

    I've just reread this thread.

    Is there any way to remove or overwrite Vista (64 bit) index.dat files, without using a bootable Linux dvd or Sandboxie ?

    Does Ccleaner really and permanently remove the index.dat files ? I'm inclined to think it doesn't, since from what I've read it appears that they can't be removed. I also suspect that frequent use of Ccleaner removes too much to be practical, but I don't know. I've tried both Ccleaner and Webroot's Window Washer, and the latter seemed to clean more (overwrites, does not remove), although I'm not sure about the index.dat files.

    I currently don't have Vista, so I can't just try things.

    Does Window Washer remove ALL index.dat files, are there other solutions, for the IE browser or other browsers ?

    Does IE 8 also use index.dat (even when using 'inprivate' or whatever it's called), and (or by Vista itself) index.dat in quote above ?

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  24. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    The way to go would be to prevent writing to the index dat files and prevent them from being updated in the first place, every time you surf the internet.

    you can do this by using something like Returnil.

    Or even by using Malware Defender or Eqsecure file and folder rules.

    c:\documents and settings\name\local settings\history\history.ie5 index.dat
    c:\documents and settings\name\local settings\temporary internet files\content.ie5 index.dat
    c:\documents and settings\name\cookies index.dat

    Read--DENY
    Write--DENY
    Create--DENY
    Delete--DENY

    There is also the option of using full disk encryption
     
  25. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    On Windows XP they cannot be accessed during normal Windows functioning, and I think it's the same on Vista. The only way to remove them is to mark them for deletion at the next boot (this is a trick done by PendMoves from sysinternals or by CCleaner). Be aware that CCleaner DOES NOT wipe these files, it just marks them to be deleted by Windows; they are deleted at reboot, and then they are recreated.
    The other way is the one suggested by arran, to use a HIPS that denies writting to the index.dat files.
     
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