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Problem with SAS


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#1 mechem

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:32 PM

SUPERAntiSpyware forum is kind of slow so I thought I would ask here as the program is often recommended here.

My machine is barely a month old and in addition to my realtime AV, SAS along with a few other on demand scanners have been installed. The first few times I ran SAS it found the typical tracking cookies that I was familiar with from its use on my old system. However the last several scans going back almost 2 weeks have not found anything...not even one tracking cookie. Running CCleaner shows many tracking cookies on my system so I know they are there. Why has SAS stopped finding them? Everything is up to date, program version and definition updates. "Scan for tracking cookies" is checked under Scanning Options. I know I can use CCleaner or other methods to clean out tracking cookies but when a program starts behaving different and not functioning as it should I get concerned. It has been suggested to uninstall/reinstall SAS but still I wonder why a barely one month old program could have this problem. No reason to believe I have any viruses as other programs come up clean. Any thoughts?

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#2 Broni

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:45 AM

"tracking cookies" are harmless and most security programs don't even bother with them.

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#3 mechem

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:07 PM

SAS previously found tracking cookies and now does not. They are on the system, CCleaner finds them. I am trying to figure out why the program has stopped working like it should.

#4 666philb

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 11:30 PM

Not all cookies are tracking cookies, most just save your preferences for a particular site. Ccleaner will always find cookies after you've been surfing the web

Edited by 666philb, 09 January 2011 - 11:34 PM.


#5 mechem

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 04:38 PM

I should have mentioned that if I run a Full Scan using SAS it finds numerous tracking cookies...the same tracking cookies that used to be found by the Quick Scan. I don't delete the tracking cookies, immediately run a Quick Scan and it finds nothing. So for whatever reason the Quick Scan is no longer finding tracking cookies that it used to...and that are found by the Full Scan.

#6 quietman7

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:20 AM

CCleaner shows all cookies on a machine. SUPERAntiSpyware Scanner Options allows scanning only for tracking cookies.

Cookies are text string messages given to a Web browser by a Web server. Whenever you visit a web page or navigate different pages with your browser, the web site generates a unique ID number which your browser stores in a text (cookie) file that is sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from that server. Cookies allow third-party providers such as ad serving networks, spyware or adware providers to track personal information. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and prepare customized Web pages for them.

  • Persistent cookies have expiration dates set by the Web server when it passes the cookie and are stored on a user's hard drive until they expire or are deleted. These types of cookies are used to store information between visits to a site and collect identifying information about the user such as surfing behavior or preferences for a specific web site.
  • Session (transient) cookies are not saved to the hard drive, do not collect any information and have no set expiration date. They are used to temporarily hold information in the form of a session identification stored in memory as you browse web pages. These types of cookies are cached only while a user is visiting the Web server issuing the session cookie and are deleted from the cache when the user closes the session.
Cookies can be categorized as:
  • Trusted cookies are from sites you trust, use often, and want to be able to identify and personalize content for you.
  • Nuisance cookies are from those sites you do not recognize or often use but somehow it's put a cookie on your machine.
  • Bad cookies (i.e. persistent cookies, long term and third party tracking cookies) are those that can be linked to an ad company or something that tracks your movements across the web.
The type of persistent cookie that is a cause for some concern are "tracking cookies" because they can be considered a privacy risk. These types of cookies are used to track your Web browsing habits (your movement from site to site). Ad companies use them to record your activity on all sites where they have placed ads. They can keep count of how many times you visited a web page, store your username and password so you don't have to log in and retain your custom settings. When you visit one of these sites, a cookie is placed on your computer. Each time you visit another site that hosts one of their ads, that same cookie is read, and soon they have assembled a list of which of their sites you have visited and which of their ads that you have clicked on. Cookies are used all over the Internet and advertisement companies often plant them whenever your browser loads one of their banners.

Cookies are NOT a "threat". As text files they cannot be executed to cause any damage. Cookies do not cause any pop ups or install malware and they cannot erase or read information from a computer.

Cookies cannot be used to run code (run programs) or to deliver viruses to your computer.

MS Article ID: 60971 - Description of Cookies

To learn more about Cookies, please refer to:Flash cookies (or Local Shared Objects) and Evercookies are a newer way of tracking user behavior and surfing habits but they too are not a threat, nor can they harm your computer.

An Evercookie is a Javascript API created and managed persistent cookie which can be used to identify a user even after they have removed standard and Flash cookies. This is accomplished by creating a new cookie and storing the data in as many storage locations (currently eight) as it can find on the local browser. Storage mechanisms range from Standard HTTP and Flash cookies to HTML5's new storage methods. When evercookie finds that other types of cookies have been removed, it recreates them so they can be reused over and over.Flash cookies are cookie-like data stored on a computer and used by all versions of Adobe Flash Player and similar applications. They can store much more information than traditional browser cookies and they are typically stored within each user’s Application Data directory with a ".SOL" extension, under the Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects folder. Unlike traditional cookies, Flash cookies cannot be managed through browser controls so they are more difficult to find and remove. However, they can be viewed, managed and deleted using the Website Storage Settings panel at Macromedia's Support Site. From this panel, you can change storage settings for a website, delete a specific website or delete all sites which erases any information that may have been stored on the computer. To prevent any Flash Cookies from being stored on your computer, go to the Global Storage Settings panel and uncheck the option “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer”. For more information, please refer to:As long as you surf the Internet, you are going to get cookies and some of your security programs will flag them for removal. However, you can minimize the number of them which are stored on your computer by referring to:Third party utilities to Manage (view & delete) Cookies:
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#7 mechem

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:28 AM

Nice tutorial on cookies.

Still my problem is with SAS and not with cookies per se. A Full Scan using SAS finds tracking cookies, so they are definitely on my system. A Quick Scan does not find them. Quick Scans previously found tracking cookies, now they do not. I have to assume it is a problem with the program. SAS tells me to uninstall/reinstall (their standard answer). When I tell them it didn't help they say you're out of luck. Rather than run a Full Scan with SAS every time I want to specifically find and get rid of tracking cookies I guess I'll go back to Ad Aware.

#8 quietman7

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 12:17 PM

I have to assume it is a problem with the program.

I was thinking that the vendor may have eliminated looking for tracking cookies when doing a Quick Scan. I'm at work so I cannot test that possibility.

but then you say:

SAS tells me to uninstall/reinstall (their standard answer).

So are they saying both Quick and Full scans should be looking for cookies and gave the uninstall/reinstall as their solution?
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#9 mechem

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:08 AM

Yep vendor says nothing has changed, tracking cookies (if desired) should be found in the scans. For whatever reasson it is not working for me in Quick Scan.

#10 quietman7

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:28 AM

If uninstalling/reinstalling did not correct the problem, try using the SUPERAntiSpyware Uninstaller Assistant. Just double-click on SASUNINST.EXE to start and reboot when finished. Then download reinstall the program or use an alternate version.

-- If the alternate installer did not work, then try downloading and using the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner (listed under Popular Links) instead. Save the randomly named file (i.e. SAS_1710895.COM) to a usb drive or CD and transfer to the infected computer. Then double-click on it to launch and scan. The file is randomly named to help keep malware from blocking the scanner.

-- If you receive a Windows Installer error when attempting to uninstall or install SUPERAntiSpyware, please refer to these instructions.

If none of those solutions work, then you need to recontact the folks at SAS. It is their product and they should be able to resolve this issue.
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#11 mechem

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:06 AM

I pretty much have done all of your suggestions. The program uninstalls and reinstalls fine. I used the portable scanner and it did not find any tracking cookies either. This one has me puzzled and SAS has written me off so I will be starting another thread asking for other Spyware program recommendations.




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