If anyone has been keeping track of this thread in the Living Room, this is the official continuation of it here, where as of this point I feel it is more appropriate to post.

Basically, the goal of this file, a .reg file, which after downloading and double clicking basically adds a comprehensive list of websites with known tracking spyware into the override cookie handling area of Internet Exporer, by placing itself into the appropriate section of the registry. When Internet Explorer (IE) navigates to those websites, it will automatically block those malicious tracking cookies.

This is great for the 56ker’s because the file is so small its a little over half a megabyte, and even at slowest connection you can download it in full in under just a minute. Being so small, another advantage is its very portable, carry it via floppy, or keep it uploaded on any free e-mail account for immediate access from any location… its just that simple.

If you want to try this mehtod, download the file and report here on any succes or failure. Ad-Aware/Spy-bot & all others should come up clean each time.
NOTE: This only helps to deter cookie spyware, it does not help if you download any software on-line from pop-ups or executable files that install malicious software such as weatherbug, sexlists, internet optimizer… etc…

OK, heard enough… wanna try it…

Download it HERE

Whats that… not an IE user, well, there is another solution for you. Another way to do this, making it more global, and open for any Internet browsing sofwtare such as AOL, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera… etc… is by placing these websites in what is called your HOSTS file. All you need to do is copy and paste the addresses after the last blank line in the HOSTS file.

The HOSTS file is located in the following windows path (for 2k/XP):
You might need to enable hidden files to see it

You will need to double click it and open it with Notepad. Then copy/paste the entire contents of the file below.


Curious to see what exactly is is you are blocking… well its only fair to ask, if you have MS Excel, you can see the entire list HERE.

AHA, don’t have Excel… I see… fine, fine here it is in NotePad HERE.

If anyone wants screen shots with directions on how to do any of the above tasks don’t hesitate to ask. Editing the HOSTS file is not something the average everyday user does so speak up if you need to.


Added 1 more reported bug to list (thx Portmac)

I will not update the NotePad and Excel List until I get a handful of listing to add.

Comming soon… HOSTS guide!!!

also added to the list

AOL users, you will need to remove from this list in order to check webmail.

How to manage the IE Cookie Override List

This is really easy, and all it takes are 3 easy steps!!!

Step 1:

Start Internet Explorer - Look for the famous blue icon of a letter “e” on your desktop or on your Start Menu taskbar

Step 2:

Click on the Tools menu bar, and select “Internet options” (last option)

Step 3:

Click the “Privacy” Tab, then the “Edit” button on the new screen.

Thats all there is to it, now you have a small new window where all management of cookies are possible.

You can add to this list, or remove present ones from the list.

Is this really relevant considering the new built in feature of a pop up blocker in IE that comes along with SP2? Just wondering how it compares.

The popup blocker in SP2 as far as I know only stops windows from being displayed. It dosn’t stop cookies from being downloaded.

I dunno why but since i installed that reg file of yours my surfing speeds look boosted :slight_smile:

What qualifies as “spyware cookies”?
Ad-aware calls about any cookie for that so I’m curious what this really “blocks”.
As for performance there isn’t a difference, rather a slowdown than a speed up if any.

the nature of the hosts file means there is a speedup, even if its a small one. the browser always looks in the hosts file when processing information within an html file - so everything that appears in the hosts file is one less request sent over the internet.

if looking locally is slower than getting info from the internet - your internet connection is insane :stuck_out_tongue:

I have been using an amazing popupblocker for 3 years now. Womble is absolutely correct, pop-ups are not the only thing that cause cookies to be downloaded. And IE level settings are not very helpful either. The override list seems to be more brute force however. :wink:

I haven’t done testing on it yet, an i ts very hard with broadband to try to see a difference in speed, so I can’t comment on boosts in speed, although I would imagine since this method ALSO blocks some banners there can only be an improvement rather than a slowdown.

What qualifies as spyware cookies are cookies that return information to the host site AFAIK, I do not know hwo they work in complete depth, good thing we have ad-aware and spy-bot for this, but even a small return of info would cause a slowdown as well, especially for the 56ker’s… lets face it not everyone has broadband yet, and even if they do, why have any decrease at all. :wink:

@ ckin2001
Uhm, the browser writes a cookie and I would indeed call that “local” access and if you have lets say 1000 entries you’ll notice a slowdown since I doubt that IE has a cache for this function and you’ll still be looking up each link.

I suspect that if you use the HOSTS method which I will try posting a small guide to it might be a slight slow-down. I am unsure if the PC checks against all 1000 entries but I doubt it, I can verify this from a reliable source by next week.

If you use the .reg file and integrate the list into IE it will boost the process.
–Why, well IE immediately checks for a cookie as soon as DNS is resolved and a connection to the remote host is achieved. This is why when you save your local data into a cookie you are always (or so it seems) logged into various websites without ever again being prompted for passwords and nicks. If this is rejected the website loads, if a cookie is accepted, it must be verified, its contents might be updated if need be, and if it is a spyware cookie an exchange of information occurs. This takes much more time than an immediate rejection of the cookie, because more happens in the process.

There seems to be the impression that all entries are checked against before a block is made. This would of course imply a slowdown. However, this is not the case I assure you. By no means can this possibly slow you down. Some meber here already see this. try it on dial up and you will really see a difference, just by the ads blocked alone :wink:

Hope that clears it up some. :wink:

Adding the list to your HOSTS file

Q. Why you would wanna do this?

A. By adding the list of known sites to your HOSTS file, any browser you use, outside of IE (including IE itself) will block Spyware cookies from making their way into your PC. In other words, it will make this procedure GLOBAL, leaving windows and your network card to take care of it. This is especially useful for AOL users which use an internal form of IE browser, and integration of the .reg file is not possible.

Q. How to do it?

A. Well, follow the list of the few steps it takes, but be careful, messing up the HOSTS file can cause problems and many internet related issues. Be very cautious of where the cursor is before you copy/paste.

Step 1:
Click above to view the HOSTS file via Notepad (or click HERE). A huge list should open with many websites listed. You will need to highlight them all, and do a copy by right clicking and “copy” or keyboard shortcut (ctrl + c).

Step 2:
You must enable hidden files. Open Windows Explorer (Right click “My Computer” and choose explore) or use Windows Keyboard shortcut (Window Key + e). Click Tools Menu, and select “Folder Options” to get a new window. Click the “View” tab. Scroll (if needed) down the Advanced settings list until you see a radio button for “Show hidden files” and make sure it is circled in, if not, click it to make it circled in. Click “Apply” button and then “OK” button.

Step 3:
Navigate to the following path in Windows Explorer:

You will typically see 5 files here, with no extension association to them, double click the file that reads “hosts” and choose notepad to open this type of file.

The last entry in the list is very commonly: localhost

click the cursor at the end of this line and hit the enter key 3 times or so, leaving some extra space. Now we are ready to do a paste (right click “paste”) or Keyboard shortcut (ctrl + v).

The entire list should now be in your HOSTS file, click “file” then choose save and close notepad.

Thats all there is to it. Now whenever you need to add something to the HOSTS file, you can just add it to the bottom of that list, following the format seen by all the listings I have as an example.

All of these steps take use of basic Windows Skills and therefore I felt screenshots were uneccessary atm… if you have trouble doing this, feel free to post here for help.


Registry Location of .reg file

You might be wondering, where is the .reg file acually kept in registry. Well, to answer this, read below and you will see.

For advanced users:

Start -> run -> regedit

Navigate to:
----->Current Version
------>Internet Settings

For beginner users or mediocre users:

Warning: Using the registry and making modifications in the wrong place, deleting things, or playing around if you do not know what you are doing can be detremental to the health of your PC, and can really screw it up, even to the point of total failure, be VERY careful with this…

Step 1:
You will need to start the registry viewer/editor
Click on the “Start” button and “choose” Run command. Type “regedit” and hit “enter” on the keyboard. A new window will open up. You will see little plus denotations just like in Windows Explorer when you navigate through folders and sub-folders. You will need to click on these to navigate through the hierarchy to:

----->Current Version
------>Internet Settings

Step 2:
Just keep clicking the “+” sign until you get there and under the last step “History” you will see the long list of entries that Internet Explorer uses. I placed three dots where the listing starts.

It might be a fun thing to know or see for some of you, but be careful, don’t poke around too much unles syou really know what you are doing.

this is what i was referring to. by servicing requests locally rather that across a network - time is saved. i highly doubt processing time is the bottleneck when rendering webpages.

using the word IE and speed doesnt work together :confused:

added to the list

this is the first hit I had on ad-aware since I started this list
:start date was 07-08-2004 (D/M/Y) format:

Hi Xtacydima

After running this reg file and adding all the sites to my hosts file I was unable to browse to my ISP

Found the problem pretty quickly
is on the block list.

I feel this is a mistake as Xtra is New Zealands largest ISP ans is not some sort of ad server.

This is the one slight disadvantages of using a HOSTS file, perhaps I should have mentioned it. To answer you in short, Yes that website is an ad-server website. When usuing a HOSTS file the entire URL is blocked, when using my method of integrating it into IE, only the ads are blocked, see picture refernece below.

However, it can easily be fixed by doing exactly what you did, simply remove the blocked URL from the list and its all good to go. :slight_smile:

@ ckin2001
Rendering can be a bottleneck though even on fast computers.
I wonder why you even bother to do this though, if there’s anything IE needs it’s an adblockerlike the one for the Mozilla platform (plugin) and a popup blocker that works decently.

How do you determine this? Do you at least know what algorithms Windows uses, did you ever hear of Round Robin, or Open shortest path first, or first come first serve??? Did you ever program any of these?

Windows can easily go through thousands of entries, especially small short text, in <1sec with no cahcing or bloated lag. If you notice a slowdown you gotta be 100x fatser than superman.

How will an adblocker block spyware cookies?