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Our site, which has a few hundred thousand users log in each day, is experiencing a very rare problem where certain IE8 users abruptly lose all their cookies, and therefore are then logged out. Typically a session for them goes like this:

  1. they log in
  2. they browse anywhere from 1-10 pages
  3. their cookies disappear and they're logged out
  4. possibly repeat this process
  5. eventually confused, they send us a feedback message describing their troubles.

I noticed this question:

http://superuser.com/questions/91781/internet-explorer-8-loses-cookies

about IE8 cookie loss, although the original poster just had a bad date/time on their machine. (This is not the case with our users.) Interestingly, though, a few of the comments on that thread described the problem a few of our users are having.

Has anyone else heard of this or have a solution?

Some other notes:

  • this only happens to IE8 users, and (possibly a false alarm?) every once in a great while an IE7 user. Those who get the problem are a small minority of IE8 users, but they get it repeatedly, over many days. So it seems to apply only to certain machines.

  • there is no reliable user-agent pattern to this that we can find.

  • it seems to be independent of OS version

  • many users claim not to have any kind of internet security packages installed (although it's feasible they're confused about this)

Seriously - I appreciate any ideas out there! This mystery has been bugging us for months.

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