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Anyone who uses cookies for authentication or to store data like passwords could have that information exposed by Internet Explorer and intercepted by a malicious Web site, Peacefire.org reports.

Using a specially constructed URL, a third-party Web site can read Internet Explorer cookies from any domain, enabling the operator of a hostile Web site to break into a visitor's Hotmail account; visit Amazon.com impersonating that user and access their real name, e-mail address and list of 'recommended titles'; grab an MP3.com user's e-mail address, and so on, Peacefire contributors Bennett Haselton and Jamie McCarthy say.

All versions of IE for Windows are affected, but versions for Unix and Mac are not, nor is Netscape, the article says. Users of IE for Windows are urged to disable JavaScript until the world-class innovators in Redmond noodle out a proper fix.

The Peacefire site includes a demonstration which will display cookie data for other domains to which you're logged in another browser window. ®

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