Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Delete Google Chrome Adobe Flash Cookies (.sol files) - Respawning Cookies

How to clean up those nasty Adobe Flash Cookies (.sol files) in Google Chrome used to Respawning Deleted Cookies

Flash Cookies dump
Google Chrome bundles Adobe Flash with their Chrome web browser, because Adobe could not be trusted to write secure code, but now is caught in the Adobe Flash cookie dump load. 

The big issue with Adobe Flash, is that it can store it's own data on your machine, which now is being used by Adware companies for tracking, in other words a cookie, but with much more detail and storage capacity. Worse, the vast majority of users probably didn’t realize you even could do this — or that you perhaps should.

Adobe Flash calls these cookies Flash Local Shared Objects which are files ending in .SOL, or euphemistically Shit Out of Luck files.

Many sites make it clear that browser cookies are in use, but not Adobe Flash Cookies.

right-click a on flash file & move Local Storage to None
Moreover, Adobe Flash cookies are being use to surreptitious store data to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, called ‘re-spawning. So even if you get rid of a website’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the “backup". In effect, your have continuous tracking.

Google has maintained since they started bundling Flash that it was mainly to ensure they could make it more secure for their Chrome users. They do this by both sand boxing it and auto-updating it when the security patches regularly appear. In other browsers, Adobe Flash is a separate download and stand-alone plug-in. 

You can turn off the creation of Adobe Flash Cookies by moving Local Storage setting to null. You can navigate to adobe.com/products/flashplayer.html. Right-click a on flash file & move Local Storage to None, to stop downloading of flash cookies. Read more about Adobe Flash settings here http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html

Let's examine where Adobe Flash Cookies are on disk, which Google Chrome directories they live in. You'll want to delete all of these sites. Here's a sample site TED.com that stores a Flash cookie.

%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\WritableRoot\#SharedObjects\{userkey}\www.ted.com

Additionally, there are shadow copies of all these cookies, one per site in this directory

%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\WritableRoot\#SharedObjects\{userkey}\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys

Other Adobe Flash cookie stores are 

%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\CacheWritableAdobeRoot\AssetCache\{userkey}\

Tip - Cut'n paste this into Windows Explorer Path Windows to open in 

%HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Pepper Data\Shockwave Flash\CacheWritableAdobeRoot\AssetCache\

Navigate one level down. They are littered with files like


.HEU files are Adobe Flash Player cache metadata files.  
.SWZ files is a signed Adobe Flash Player library file.

Examine your .SOL Flash Cookies 

You can view the contents of your .sol files using this utility from Nirsoft.


Delete your .SOL Flash Cookies in Chrome

Chrome now allows users to easily clear cookies form from within the browser, this also includes Flash cookies.

Settings -> "Show advanced settings..." (at bottom of page)
-> Click Clear browsing data... button.

Choose this option to clear Adobe Flash cookies

Better, you can also set up Chrome to clear all plug-in cookie data every time you close Chrome.

Delete Adobe Flash Cookies

Even better use Bleach Bit, and you can delete all you Adobe Flash Cookies across all browsers at once! 

You can download BleachBit a new privacy tool here.

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