It has been known for some time in various Web circles that Adobe Flash also keeps its own cookie set (also knows as Local Shared Objects – LSO’s) and that these cookies must be managed “manually” apart from the normal browser cookies.
However, it looks like folk are again “re-discovering” this ability as well as the security implications such a thing presents:
- Flash Cookie Researchers Spark Quantcast Change – Wired.com Epicenter
- Web Sites Using Flash Instead of Browser Cookies to Track Your Activity - Cookies - Lifehacker
- Blocking those Secret, Stubborn Cookies – SANS-ISC Handler’s Diary
Hey, dialog and understanding is always a Good Thing in my book.
Don’t want them or want to mange them? You got quite a few choices.
- Settings Manager - Global Security Settings panel – Adobe Flash Player – Go to this web-page at Adobe and (yes, Flash based) use it to view your Flash browser settings as well as manage your Flash cookies. Keep it bookmarked.
- BleachBit - file and privacy cleaner for Linux and Windows – Previously recommended here for it’s ease as a freeware application to vacuum Firefox SQL files. It also includes the ability to manage/clean Flash cookies.
- CCleaner – Similarly, this established system-cleaning freeware utility can also clean Flash cookies from Windows systems.
- Objection - (Firefox Add-in Extension) – I personally find this single-purpose Firefox add-in does the trick for all my needs. Once installed you access it via the “Tools” menu drop-down. Inspect and manage the Flash Cookies as well as delete the ones you don’t want. It doesn’t do anything else. But it does do this great.
- BetterPrivacy - (Firefox Add-in Extension) – This one is like Objection above, but it provide much more control and management support of LSO’s than Objection does. I use NoScript to generally block all Flash services as I surf. If I do want to enable Flash content, I enable it in NoScript. That said, any Flash Cookies I have I generally have accordingly and it’s usually not a hassle. However, for more fine-grained control of those cookies, this is the tool to have if you are a Firefox user.
- Flush.app – Mac OSX only. I’m not an Mac user (iPods excepted). That said I would have included this anyway for you Mac users just because the website is aggressively cool! Anyway, this app helps Mac users manage Flash cookies on their system.
Let the Flash Cookie beat-down begin.