Cookie `unlikely’ suspect in online theft

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Cookie `unlikely' suspect in online theft

Security experts are downplaying fears of a new online crime wave that uses the cookie technology in Web browsers.

Concerns arose after reports that Novell CEO Eric Schmidt believed his credit card number was stolen using a cookie, but that is an “unlikely” possibility, according to Paul Fahn, cryptographic analyst for encryption technology provider Certicom Corp.

Generally, cookies do not contain sensitive information like credit card numbers, but act as account numbers to call up private billing information stored on an e-commerce site’s secure server to enable faster ordering.

Experts say the information contained on the cookie is basically useless unless someone is also able to break into the company’s server.

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