Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Windows Update Changes IE Cookies Names

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By Bill Pytlovany

Anyone who has read my blog knows how I feel about automatic software updates.  My previous posts include

* Auto Updates are Evil

* Update causes OLMAPI32.dll error

* Auto Update Programs Running all the time

* Microsoft Security Update Problems

This week one of the critical updates from Microsoft made a change in how cookie names are displayed by WinPatrol.  This is a minor annoyance and I expect it will affect other programs in one way or another. I’m not sure why but the update appears to have made a global change in how Microsoft names individual cookie files used by Internet Explorer.

While other browsers have individual database entries for cookies, Internet Explorer creates a file where it stores multiple cookies for a particular website. WinPatrol displays a list of each website and allows you to view the contents of the file.

cookiesold
Cookies created before the Windows update still have filenames which make it somewhat obvious where the cookies came from. This allows the WinPatrol Cookie Manager to remove and filter cookies based on portions of their name. At this time filtering out unwanted cookies in IE depends on the filename.

cookiesnew 
Since the update, new cookie names appear to be randomly created filenames. I’m not sure what security issue this resolves but it’s going to make it a harder to use WinPatrol to manage unwanted cookies. If this is the new Microsoft method I don’t see making any kind of change to provide a fix in the near future. The update does not affect how WinPatrol manages Firefox and Chrome cookies.

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This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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One thought on “Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Windows Update Changes IE Cookies Names

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