Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Tracking cookie ATDMT: unethical Microsoft?

by aiglerik9 / July 7, 2009 6:11 PM PDT

1. Opening question: is it true that the tracking cookie Atdmt emanates from or is sponsored by Microsoft (MS in short)?
2. Observation: MS provides a number of tools to stop cookies we do not want (thanks for that). However, the tracking cookie Atdmt cannot be blocked, it keeps coming back notwithstanding the various tools (including deleting Atdmt entries in the registry).
3. Comment: if tracking cookie Atdmt is indeed MS, then we have here a most unethical behaviour from MS.
4. Has anyone found a way to block tracking cookie Atdmt (without causing to many additional annoyances for ourselves)?

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Re: adtmt
by Kees Bakker / July 7, 2009 6:41 PM PDT

Why do you think it's Microsoft?

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081214080238AAEj8to says ADTMT is an advertising company. I see no link with Microsoft.

The above article suggest deleting cookies automatically. Then your browsing behavior can't be tracked. Hardly an annoyance, if it's done automatically. I think ccleaner will work also.


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ATDMT tracking cookie
by aiglerik9 / July 7, 2009 8:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: adtmt

The idea of a link with MS appeared in the Microsoft Discussion Groups on Internet Explorer General.

CCleaner is not effective, this cookie comes back.
Have tried many other suggestions from the hundreds available on the Web about atdmt, to no avail, cookie re-installs itself. Your Yahoo suggestion does not help either.

Thanks Kees for replying.

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Additionally, Using A Browser Like Firefox
by tobeach / July 8, 2009 4:02 PM PDT
In reply to: ATDMT tracking cookie

with it's cookie Manager can block this. You can give each site permission to install ONLY "session" (temporary, removed by CCleaner)cookies or NO cookies or as set by standard cookie rules you set within the program of the browser. Sea Monkey also offers this.

Basically, you may need to "tighten-up" you cookie permissions to avoid 3rd party cookies. This particular cookie can be had from almost any site IF your cookie permissions are wide open. Happy

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Setting Permissions For Cookies
by hogndog / September 1, 2009 4:46 PM PDT

In Internet Explorer go to tools drop down to Internet options go to privacy click advanced tic the box in first party cookies that says prompt third party cookies click block >.click O.k. = Done.

Now atdmt needs your permission to climb aboard...

Now if I could only remember where this tip came from.

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ADTMT is linked to Outlook Connector and Hotmail
by aiglerik9 / September 1, 2009 7:41 PM PDT

Thanks for this tip, but ADTMT does not behave as an 'ordinary' cookie. It appears 'embedded' within Outlook Connector and Hotmail and reinstalls itself everytime Outlook or Hotmail are switched on. Deleting ADTMT from the registry has no effect, nor has any other known tip or trick, such as for instance installing MVPS Hosts file.

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Outlook And Hotmail
by hogndog / September 1, 2009 8:58 PM PDT

You have something here this thing reproduces itself after every deletion. So when will the secret be revealed, maybe Microsoft will send a special patch and be done with it.

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re:ADTMT is linked to Outlook Connector and Hotmail
by gnonstic / May 22, 2011 5:24 AM PDT

yes, actually, msn is installed, like adware/malware in your winsows operating system, there is a small light peice of software from some woman who used to work for msn/windows, who dosnt like them anymore and she has a link to a peice of software that totally rids your pc of the embedded msn software. it certainly seems to apear each time msn is opened.when i can remeber the link to her page will post it here and see what happens.

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Does not work
by glenisnelson / March 9, 2010 4:12 PM PST

Blocking this in the privacy tab does not work - there is no way to block it - it is put on your system with Windows Live Client. If you go to your Temporary Internet Files under - C:\Users\your id\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\ and watch this when you have IE opened and then open Windows Live - the cookies will appear - it is not just one but all of the listed ones
yourid@atdmt.com - yourid@bing.com - yourid@c.live.com - yourid@c.msn.com - yourid@live.com - yourid@msn.com - yourid@windowsmarketplace.com - yourid@zune.com - listed below is what was in atdmt.com cookie - Microsoft refuses to break this down for me.


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ATDMT - Microsoft connection
by staekewl / January 12, 2011 3:17 AM PST
In reply to: Re: adtmt

Why do people think Microsoft is involved? Because it is true!

Don't take my word for it; see for yourself.

1) Visit the link below to the microsoft site for the IE9 beta.

2) Hover your mouse cursor over the download button.

3) View the target URL in the status bar at the bottom of your browser.

4) Note that it is a redirect to ATDMT.com where the malware is installed.

5) If you have included ATDMT.com in your restricted sites list in IE, you will not be redirected there and the malware will not install.

Since the behavior of this unsolicited and unapproved add-on includes tracking behavior, it is classified as malware. I don't know about you, but most people find that sort of behavior intolerably unethical.

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It's not malware. It's a tracking cookie.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 7, 2011 3:15 AM PST
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hover cursor....
by gnonstic / May 22, 2011 5:27 AM PDT

tried clicking the link you suggested, and hovered cursor on download link, it didnt seem to show any redirect/connection to atdmt. though that may be my location?
i must say, ANY time i log into MSN i get avg giving atdmt warnng message. so there IS a link to MS.

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atdmt - block the damn thing
by Roger403 / May 28, 2011 7:09 PM PDT
In reply to: hover cursor....


Yes, you're absolutely right. I too use AVG and constantly get the warning about atdmt everytime I open Windows Live Messenger, my IM program. I've tried for months to block that cookie to no avail. Even Adblock in Firefox doesn't do it regardless of how many times I specifically put the block on it. What to do? Damned if I know anymore.

It's not good enough to have to run Adaware all the time to find and kill it. That's only temporary for the moment. It just keeps coming back anyway. Probably like most of you on this forum, I don't like being tracked and have stopped most of the attempts to do that but this bloody atdmt will NOT go away. Does anyone have any ideas about how we can stop this crap? Is that even possible? No one can say that M$ is not wrapped up in this. Windows Live is a Micromoney program and everytime I open it back comes the Adaware notice: tracking cookie detected! Any good answers, folks?

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cCleaner doesn't work!
by High-Definition / January 5, 2012 5:38 AM PST
In reply to: Re: adtmt

I use Advanced System Care Pro. It finds the MALWARE and will delete it. So will SpyBot. I've used Malwarebytes Pro to no avail. I've used BitDefender Total Security and now have ESET Smart Security 5. I've ran these in safe mode but it's useless. I've used Hijack This with no success.

This is Microsoft trying to force people to use Internet Explorer, IMO. The cookies only show up in Chrome and Firefox but not IE. Hmmm? And if you block third party cookies, you can't get to your Live/Hotmail inbox. This IS making my new computer act buggy and is a huge nuisance.

Thank you Microsoft for making my decision easier. The next computer I buy will be a Mac. I will never by a PC again due to their forced, unethical intrusion into MY computer. It should be illegal!

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You can block such cookies and connection to known ads
by Donna Buenaventura / July 7, 2009 8:07 PM PDT
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Re: blocking Atdmt
by aiglerik9 / July 7, 2009 9:09 PM PDT

Thank you Donna.
Being unfamilar (read total dummy) with "host" files, mvps and hphosts appear daunting exercises - which one do you recommend for a novice (who wants to avoid ending up with a pc in a miserable state)?
Should I both download Spybot and SpywareBlaster?

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Erik, You can use...
by Donna Buenaventura / July 7, 2009 10:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: blocking Atdmt

any of the said hosts file. MVPS hosts file is not updated frequently but it does block atdmt (see the list http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt and you'll find many atdmt entries to be blocked by MVPS hosts) and many others. hpHOSTS is updated daily (via partial update) but it has more blocked bad/unwanted domains or tracking cookies/ads.

I suggest that you try using first the MVPS Hosts file. It is not a task to use a HOSTS file if you are going to use a hosts file manager. Example: Hostsman or hostsxpert - both have a function to update your preferred hosts file.

As a start, just download MVPS Hosts http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.zip (direct download). Unzip it in a temporary location then copy and paste the hosts file (it does not have file extension, just Hosts only) in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC folder. Overwrite/Replace the existing (default) hosts file in Windows. You're done. If you want to update it, visit MVPS hosts file page again and see if there's update. You will only replace the old hosts file again.

No, you don't need to use both Spybot -S&D and SpywareBlaster. Get the latter first. Use only Spybot if you want its scanner+prevention but for prevention only, use the hosts file and SpywareBlaster for now.

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I Discovered Today, Via SAS, That
by tobeach / April 28, 2010 4:56 PM PDT

these cookies under discussion will also misrepresent themselves as
Session Only cookies to Mozilla's Cookie Mgr. They're Not!

I had them marked as accepted ONLY as Session Cookies because you cannot enter Hotmail with them fully blocked.

After leaving Hotmail yesterday & running CCleaner as usual. Shut down over night. After boot-up today, todays scan w/ SAS found 7 of them still on the machine and quarantined them. This without going to Hotmail yet today! Noted: MBAM scan immediately before SAS scan, did NOT find these 7 items. Sad Sandy.

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atdmt tracking cookie
by Roger403 / May 28, 2011 7:21 PM PDT


I do use CCleaner regularly, a very good tool. But, as I said in my last post, finding and deleting the cookie is only temporary - it still comes back. How can it be blocked permanently? It's not good enough to have to run CCleaner everytime. That won't do. Frankly, this atdmt thing is a pain in the butt! I don't like anyone, including the sneaky M$, keeping tabs on my use of the 'Net. That has to stop. Yeah, dream on... I don't think, at this point, that it can be stopped. I haven't been able to do it after all the research and things I've tried. Any new ideas, please?

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Also SpywareBlaster
by Donna Buenaventura / July 7, 2009 8:08 PM PDT
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Spyware Blaster?
by hogndog / September 1, 2009 8:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Also SpywareBlaster

Oh Really? I use the blaster and the only thing it does is update new definitions.

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Because it blocks it without user-interaction
by Donna Buenaventura / September 2, 2009 3:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Spyware Blaster?

You can open SpywareBlaster and you should see some tracking cookies that it can block in IE and Firefox browsers.

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by hogndog / September 2, 2009 3:21 AM PDT

Me thinks your right.

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(NT) :-)
by Donna Buenaventura / September 2, 2009 3:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!
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how can u add cookie to list on SpywareBlaster please
by Tom_the1 / April 27, 2010 9:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

I have same prob with this cookie and if SpywareBlaster can stop it, how does one add to the list on Spywareblaster? From what I see the list provided can either have cookies blocked or not, cannot see how additions can be made
Any help much appreciated

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because it blocks....
by gnonstic / May 22, 2011 5:47 AM PDT

"Because it blocks it without user-interactionby Donna Buenaventura - 9/2/09 10:08 AMIn Reply to: Spyware Blaster? by hogndogYou can open SpywareBlaster and you should see some tracking cookies that it can block in IE and Firefox browsers."

um, i opened the spywareblaster to the window for block.unblock cookies but there was NO refeence to atdmt in the blocked list at all. and, if i am not mistaken, no way to add it to the list.
any advice?

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re:Spyware Blaster?
by gnonstic / May 22, 2011 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Spyware Blaster?

yeh, i am trying out spywareblaster right now, and am trying to find a way to ad atdmt into it as it asnt on the list onboard it. however i cant find the way to add it to block list (tho if it is being internally generated nothing will b able to "block" it, will it/there?).
the only thing i have found on spywareblaster for asdding things to lsit is a thing u have to ad the CLSID to. but thats not something i would know about, in fact i dont think cookies would have a CLSID. would they?

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by glenisnelson / March 9, 2010 4:03 PM PST

This cookie is created when IE is running and Windows Live Mail Client is opened. This is the answer I got from Microsoft - I don't believe them and think this cookie is capturing marketing information that they feel is very important and don't want it blocked. I have reported it to the FTC. If more people would do the same, something will be done - they require massive complaints.
Microsoft comment:
I can assure you that the cookies are cosmetic. The function that the Windows Live allocations use for cookie placement is ?InternetSetCookie?. If you look up this public function on MSDN you can see how works.


I also want to point out the caution statement on the page.:

Caution InternetSetCookie will unconditionally create a cookie even if ?Block all cookies? is set in Internet Explorer. This behavior can be viewed as a breach of privacy even though such cookies are not subsequently sent back to servers while the ?Block all cookies? setting is active. Applications should use InternetSetCookieEx to correctly honor the user's privacy settings.

With that said the change will be to use the InternetSetCookieEx function, and as you see it will honor the users privacy settings. A fix is scheduled to be released in the next update cycle for the Windows Live applications.

By the way - this was over a month ago and I have seen nothing released from Microsoft - again proof they are hiding something and want these cookies out there at any risk - please - everyone report this to the FTC, your senators and congressianal representatives - Microsoft must me reined in.

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by vilignoble / April 21, 2011 6:32 AM PDT

This cookie displays ads on youtubes ad square of items you were just looking at and then compares prices of similar items on that website in a video playing display. If you go atdmt.com it does say it is part microsoft for advertisers.

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by gnonstic / May 22, 2011 5:21 AM PDT

yes, i have found that each time i am dumb enough to use MSN messenger, i get my AVG issuing a tracking cookie warning for atdmt. however when i clikc "heal selected threats", it does NOTHING.
will enjoy watching this thread to see what is to be learned about this.
though it does seem that when i open cookie folders and atdmt is there it does delete.
hope some one with much know how tells us more about this cookie and the whys and whats.

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Its hardly unethical and not malware
by yonigarriga / June 9, 2011 1:37 AM PDT

Hi all,
ATDMT is an advertising cookie, belonging to microsofts adserver atlas, so its a tracking cookie,
what it does is help control the frequency of the ads shown and give the advertisers info on unique users
impacted, conversions on clients site etc, it does not track your surfing behaviour nor has any PII personal identifiable information. (like google)
Advertising is what substains most of the sites, blogs and "free tools" (nothing that comes with advertising is really free,) that we use daily on internet.
ATDMT will never download adwares, viruses or any unsolicited programs on your computer, its just part of the
ads that you see like the swf or gif..an ad without a cookie is worth nothing since the cookie is what lets inventory providers like msn justify results to the brands that advertise.
Unethical?...well CNET has right below this thread 3 Google links from adsense, with their doubleclick cookies,
and that doesnt make CNET unethical.
Fortunately big companies like Microsoft-atlas/Google-Doubleclick are transparent with their cookies policies and you can optout.
I personally use to surf with a 400's list of adservers on my blacklist to block everysingle cookie, but then I added adsense to my blog, and used SEM (google paid serach) for my company, so I felt like a hypocrit, from one side I was surfing with no ads, but from the other I was expecting everyone to Happy

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