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I'm trying to identify a if a website uses tracking cookies beyond ordinary cookies, that get deleted when I click "Delete cookies".

The work plan is to run a clean virtual machine, use a software that monitors system activity and visit website. The activities in question are all write activities issued by the browser I am using.

This leads to a question. Is the browser the only app in my computer that can store supercookies and is therefore the only app that should be monitored if I have Flash,Silverlight,Java Applet disabled or should I also monitor some other apps? Thanks

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I'm not sure how well defined app is in this case. Depending on which browser you are using, it is a collection of one or more processes. Browser plugins and extensions may or may not be running in their own processes.

If you assume that a supercookie isn't utilizing an unpublished browser vulnerability, then only the browser process, and processes that it communicates with, can store supercookies locally.

Regarding plugins and extensions, many of them make network calls so it is theoretically possible that they are tracking your information remotely. In that scenario, they would use some unique ID for your computer (maybe your MAC address) as the key into the remote database.

Generally, the best way to avoid tracking is to run in the browser's incognito or private mode. These modes are designed to prevent tracking of all types.

  • Alright, inspecting all plugin write actions(if any) and using a browser with zero extensions should work then. Subquestion: What are the processes that browser communicates with? Just plugins and extensions? Are you aware of any browser vulnerabilities, that could be used to set supercookies? – sanjihan May 16 '16 at 18:27
  • @sanjihan - If I was aware of non-public security vulnerabilities in browsers, I certainly wouldn't be shouting about them on the internet. – Neil Smithline May 16 '16 at 18:47
  • haha, cant argue with that. What are the processes that browser (say safari)communicates with? Just plugins and extensions? – sanjihan May 16 '16 at 18:48

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