Cookies (computer) That Can Last Forever

by Lynnea Bylund on October 12, 2010

The New York Times didn’t ask developer, and hacker turned counter-culture hero, Samy Kamkar whether his million MySpace friends were worth the three years of probation he received after he released the infamous Samy Worm that crashed MySpace in 2005.  That’s  because his newest creation, the Evercookie, is far more interesting — “and creepy (but of course — isn’t all Internet technology?).”

Source: Gavin Dunaway / Adotas.com

Samy Kamkar created the Samy worm that crashed MySpace

Samy Kamkar

… this one is pretty creepy: the evercookie is a javascript API that produces cookies resistant to deletion through storing data in several places on a browser. Kamkar has found the only way to avoid the evercookie is to use Private Browsing in Safari.

It’s a supercookie, something equivalent to one of those monstrosities with a 10-foot circumference that some press-hungry bakery cooks up to get coverage on the local news. Hearing about either may make you vomit a bit in your mouth.

Although its freely available, Kamkar swears he doesn’t want to use it for evil, only to show how much tracking tools could permeate browsers. He tells NYTimes that the cookie should be used as “a litmus test for preventing tracking.”

It’s sort of like the “Please Rob Me” site — the media got up in arms nobody enjoys looking like a fool, but sometimes it’s hard to see how stupid we can be without getting smacked in the face. Technology facilitates many things in life, including ignorance.

Kamkar is the star of NYTimes latest technology scarefest — this time about HTML5 and this time… Well, maybe there are some legitimate concerns here. While improving the web surfing experience, the upgraded code will make data mining easier as some major browsers don’t currently offer obvious settings for deleting data delivered in HTML5. Opting out appears to be a difficult option.

>>continue reading at Adotas.com

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