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Anti-Ad Blocker Arms Race

6:09 pm on Jan 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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In the latest research published by Iowa university, it shows that thousands of sites are using anti-ad blocking techniques to get around the problem of ad blocked content in a users' browser. It's worth reading whichever side of the business you're involved in.

The paper is titled "Measuring and Disrupting Anti-Adblockers Using Differential Execution Analysis"

At a high level, we collect execution traces by visiting a website with and without adblockers. Through differ-ential execution analysis, we are able to pinpoint the conditions that lead to the differences caused by anti-adblocking code. Using our system, we detect anti-adblockers on 30.5% of the Alexa top-10K websites which is 5-52 times more than reported in prior literature. Unlike prior work which is limited to detecting visible reactions (e.g.,warning messages) by anti-adblockers, our system can discover attempts to detect adblockers even when there is no visible reaction. From manually checking one third of the detected websites, we find that the websites that have no visible reactions constitute over 90% of the cases, completely dominating the ones that have visible warning messages. Finally, based on our findings, we further develop JavaScript rewriting and API hooking based solutions (the latter implemented as a Chrome extension) to help adblockers bypass state-of-the-art anti-adblockers.

PDF file [homepage.divms.uiowa.edu...]
7:36 pm on Jan 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Here's the funny version:

I make ebooks based on specific, dated public-domain editions from specific, named publishers. Often these include a publisher's advertising section, which I may choose to retain if it suits my fancy. (There is no other criterion.) I have belatedly been realizing that I need to check these very very carefully in my everyday browser, because names that are intuitive and convenient to me, like <div class = "pubads"> or <img src = "/images/adpage.png">, are liable to run afoul of the adblocker. Whitelisting my own site and/or localhost is obviously not the answer, since I need this content to be visible to everyone. Sure, it was advertising in 1899. Today it's content with historical value.

The only fix is to get more creative in naming all those divs and images ... which is surely one approach modern-day advertisers have also been taking.

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