Ask LH: Should Websites Alter The Windows Registry?

Dear LH, Do websites have the right to add entries to the Windows Registry? Thanks, Curious Hacker

Dear CH,

In their own right, no. If a web site needs to store specific data, it should use cookies. There are no logical reasons why a site should need to store or alter registry values, and indeed as far as I can tell this isn't even directly possible with the programming environments which can actually execute within a browser environment. (If someone knows different, we're all ears in the comments.)

A site that is claiming it can alter the Windows registry would do so by asking you to launch a downloaded executable or a .REG file containing commands to alter the reigstry, and that's frankly asking for trouble. While it might seem an easier way to make registry changes, we'd suggest making them manually yourself (and backing up the registry before you do so). That way, you understand what has actually happened.

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    Yeah, fairly true with the exceptions of Java and ActiveX. They can also use your IP to check for vulnerable services (RPC, Remote registry, etc), but these are pretty good these days or not enabled by default.

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