Cookie Logging – What is It & How to Prevent this Threat?
Before knowing cookie logging, it’s essential to understand what a cookie means in computer language. A cookie is a piece of information that a server sends to a user’s web browser when they are using the internet. It stores data that the browser may subsequently utilize to maintain users’ logins, remember website preferences, or deliver geographically relevant content. Cookies can be found on mobile and web-based devices.
Types of Cookies
There are two types of cookies i.e. first-party and third-party cookies. A website generates first-party cookies whenever you visit it. The majority of third-party cookies are ad trackers that other websites create and use to collect information about your preferences and online activities. This information helps advertisers decide when and how to present you with pertinent material.
What is Cookie Logging?
The logging of cookies can be used for many good reasons. However, when customers put malicious software onto their devices, it results in fraudulent use cases for cookie logging. Without explicit consent, this malicious program installs external cookie loggers, which convey information to unidentified suppliers. The data, including PII, is used by these suppliers for fraud and identity theft.
Without further ado, let’s go deeper into the topic and discuss cookie logging including its legality and any associated security threats. We’ll go through some security best practices as well as ways to reduce your susceptibility to it. Last but not least, we’ll talk about the future of cookies, specifically Google’s plan to phase them out, and what that means for the web.
Cookie Logging – Is It Legal?
Many programs forbid the use of cookie logging in their Terms of Service due to the detrimental effects of cookie logging. Because it is regarded as a type of cross-site scripting, cookie logging is prohibited in several nations.
Users’ data integrity is protected by laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The European Union (EU), where the GDPR is in effect, has the authority to bring legal action against any businesses that provide services to EU people in violation of the law.
Is There a Security Risk with Cookies?
There is a security risk for users of cookies in the browser revealing sensitive user information (such as PII), which could lead to the transmission of data to hostile actors. You might not even be aware that you have ever been exposed to cookie logging because cookie loggers can be placed secretly. You should be aware that cookies are only saved on the client side, thus if your browser has been compromised, you will only be exposed.
A case of cookie logging in use is the .ROBLOSECURITY cookie. It serves as a token for the Roblox program and gives users access to the following data:
- Game information (for example, name or id)
- Adapting an avatar
- Compiling friend lists
- Game playing
Roblox emphasizes the significance of keeping this token private. By doing this, the hacker gains access to the victim’s Roblox account. Also, other accounts that utilize the same credentials would be exposed to the user. By being aware of the risks, you can take action to reduce exposure.
Is It Possible to Limit The Exposure to Cookie Logging?
Cookie logging can have very negative effects. You can reduce your exposure to undesired cookie logging by using the following procedures:
- Download files only from reliable sources. Cookie loggers may be disguised in the files you are installing from unreliable sites.
- Nothing from your web browser’s developer console should be copied or sent. The private data in your cookies is stored in the developer console.
- Keep your cookies clean. By frequently clearing your cookies, you can make sure that they are refreshed and removed from the system. This makes it more difficult for cookie loggers who rely on outdated data.
- Cookies should only be shared by websites you trust. When websites ask you to share cookies, only trust the trustworthy ones.
- For privacy, use a VPN. Your browser’s ability to save geolocation data may be restricted by using a VPN.
- Every browser will have security options to control the cookies that are kept on your computer.
- Use secure password guidelines. If you believe you have been discovered, change your passwords. Regularly change your passwords and use strong password combinations.
What Does Cookies’ Future Hold?
Cookies have long been a component of the web experience, but due to many privacy considerations, they have come under scrutiny. Google intends to phase away cookies by H2 2024 as part of its initiative to address these concerns.
Several sectors may be impacted if cookies disappear. The industries most at risk are those that depend on user tracking (such as marketing or advertising) and any tech firms that employ tracking to enhance the usability of their applications. Yet, a substitute tracking feature (with comparable characteristics) will take the place of cookies, prompting businesses to develop fresh methods of tracking user experiences. With the introduction of this new function, Google and other major influencers may gain more sway.
There will always be malevolent actors who use new technologies for improper ends, despite the greatest efforts to protect privacy. Understanding security concepts and reducing exposure to undesired tracking events will be made possible by education.
In The End
Cookies on a browser can be collected by software and sent to a server for authentication using cookie logging. The tool can be used maliciously even while it has useful applications, which makes biscuit logging a security risk. By using only reputable websites and routinely clearing your cookies, you can reduce your exposure to biscuit logging. The user is responsible for maintaining security attack awareness.
Despite the possible downside of biscuit logging, reputable providers have employed it to simplify the web experience for users. Although cookies are being phased out, their tracking functionality will always be available.
Note: For any cybersecurity-related queries feel free to contact our expert team.
Q- What information can be captured through Cookie Logging?
Well, you can capture name, value, domain, path, expiration time, and any additional attributes set by the server.
Q- Where cookie logging is used?
Generally, it is used in the field of web development and testing to automate tasks on a website, analyze user sessions, troubleshoot login issues, etc. However, with time, hackers also use this mechanism to fulfill their malicious needs.
Q- How to protect sensitive cookie information from logging?
To protect your sensitive cookie information, don’t share the logs with unauthorized individuals. Store them securely, and wherever it’s possible consider redacting sensitive data.