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Sledgehead

Your (lack Of) Online Privacy: Iesnare

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ieSnare is the name given to an applet and associated database and files used to track a computers activity across the net.

ieSnare uses the hardware and its associated identifiers and serial numbers to produce a unique identifier for your machine. This identifier is sent to a central database every time ieSnare runs on your machine. ieSnare will run whenever your browser allows ieSnare containing Flash applets to run on your machine.

In this way, your activity can be tracked.

Moreover, implementers of ieSnare can associate attributes with your computer, be they shopping habits, suceptibility to marketing and spin, or, in the case of gambling, whether you are an habitual, addicted loser (GREAT!) or a consistent winner (BOOO! - must be a fraudster / arb etc).

The technology circumvents widely adopted privacy rules that forbid cross-site tracking of individuals by storing only machine specific data. Though untested in a court of law, the ease with which sites who take payments (thus pesonal ids) would seem to make the technology only superficially legal.

Because it uses Flash, it is H/W, OS and browser independent, despite the "ie" in "ieSnare".

Many firewalls have an active content filter that will block its use, but only at the expense of disabling Flash altogether. Given that active content is often the only way to use the sites ieSnare runs from, avoiding it can be all but impossible should you wish to use such sites.

Suggestions to combat this technology are merely that, as nothing is known about its inner workings.

One method suggested including writ eprotecting the *.sol files associated with its activity. This presupposes that an attribute is left on your machine together with an id. My suspicion is that this is not the case and that attributes are supplied by the sites attempting to brand you easy prey or savvy.

Thoughts welcome.

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Incidentally, as an indication as to the mentality of Iovation (the suppliers of the ieSnare), check out the following (in their own words) marketing spiel:

If you say you have identified a fraudulent device, what type of fraudulent activity have you verified?

Is this a history of an actual fraud, i.e. a credit card chargeback, or is it simply an infected PC?

So presumably my unwillingness to sanction credit card payment with an online retailer who sent me one low energy bulb, in place of the 20 they accidentally or otherwise advertised on Amazon is categorized by iovation as "actual fraud". Nice.

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You should all run freeware such as adaware and set it to run everytime you shut your browser.

Consider changing to Firefox.

Obviously be carefull what you read/post from work.

Don't use yahoo/google toolbar etc.

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You should all run freeware such as adaware and set it to run everytime you shut your browser.

"If you have Adobe Flash Player installed you may not be aware that it stores cookies on your computer that are not detected by most cookie or adware scanners."

- Windows Forum

Consider changing to Firefox.

If you allow it to run flash, it won't matter a jot what browser you use.

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"If you have Adobe Flash Player installed you may not be aware that it stores cookies on your computer that are not detected by most cookie or adware scanners."

- Windows Forum

If you allow it to run flash, it won't matter a jot what browser you use.

Thanks, I must check ad aware does also check this although persoanlly I don't fun flash.

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Malwarebytes anti-malware

Firefox + Flashblock

I've found Lavasoft's Ad-aware to be less and less effective over the last year or so.

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This is something adobe should address. However, this isn't much worse than the use of 3rd party tracking cookies, which are absolutely everywhere.

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