What are these __utma/b/z cookies that are suddenly spewing from all sorts of websites?
For many years now I've monitored the cookies that are offered to my browser and denied most of them. Prior to 2001 (Mozilla 0.8) I was using CookiePal with Netscape 4.x, then I switched to Mozilla and eventually their cookie filtering/prompting capability rose to the same level.
So I see the cookies that come in, at least until I tell Moz to not prompt me anymore and just ban all cookies from a server. About a week ago I started seeing cookies with the names "__utma", "__utmb" and "__utmz" being sent from the server. MANY servers. Servers from all over the world were setting them (here's one
Now, long ago I learned to recognize certain cookie patterns; for example, if I see a pair of cookies named "CFID" and "CFTOKEN" coming from a server, I know it's running Cold Fusion. Not that I really care, but it's an explanation.
So I'm guessing that these "UTM" cookies are all tied to some software package that a LOT of servers use, perhaps Apache or PHP, and that software package recently released an upgrade that has these cookies turn on by default. Or, more insidiously, my ISP has inserted a not-so-transparent proxy into the chain. Anybody know?