Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Internet cafe displays spyware warnings on the fly, but in IE only, not Mozilla

Yesterday (Oct. 19) I went into a full service Internet café in Greenwich Village and noticed while testing a few of my blogs that “Real Threat” would identify a few spy cookies with a popup square at the lower right side of the web page, in Internet Explorer only. The same blog would not bring up the warning consistently, and it appeared at least once on Yahoo! too. The warning did not appear with Mozilla. I also sometimes got C++ runtime errors with an invitation to debug from a few sites that displayed this warning, but in Internet Explorer only.

Webroot does not show these to me on any site or browser, and neither does McAfee or Kaspersky. However, batch screens with Webroot usually do identify and (upon request) quarantine a number of common cookies, including realmedia, tripod, doubleclick, overture, adbureau. Many of these sound familiar. They are identified by repeated scans so they appear to be commonly used, and probably harmless.

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