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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

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Batu69

A behind-the-scenes look at the cat and mouse game played by publishers and devs

Analysis Netizens may choose to block unwanted content – such as intrusive and misbehaving ads – but some advertising companies do not to accept that choice.

 

Instart Logic describes itself as a content delivery service and much of that content happens to be advertising. The California-based biz is determined to help its clients present online ads despite the technical choices made by internet users to avoid that content – adverts bypassing ad blockers, in other words.

 

The company's technology disguises third-party network requests so they appear to be first-party network requests. This allows ad services used by website publishers to place cookies and serve ads that would otherwise by blocked by the browser's same-origin security model.

 

Raymond Hill, who maintains the popular uBlock Origin content blocker, on Wednesday updated his uBO-Extra add-on software to prevent Instart Logic's code from bypassing uBlock Origin.

 

In an explanatory note on UBO-Extra's GitHub repository, Hill describes UBO-Extra as follows: "To foil hostile anti-user mechanisms used to work around content blockers or even privacy settings in a browser."

 

It defends against anti-content-blocking code, in other words.

Efforts to push back against content blocking have taken on greater urgency as adoption has increased. Last year, the technology became more of an issue for mobile devices when Apple introduced support for a Content Blocking API in its Safari browser.

 

According to PageFair, a digital publishing consultancy, content blocking grew 30 per cent last year and is now practiced by 11 per cent of internet users around the globe.

 

Facebook last year took steps to disable content blocking on its network, and companies like Instart Logic, PageFair, Sourcepoint, and Uponit aim to provide similar anti-blocking capabilities to other online publishers.

 

Uponit provides publishing clients with JavaScipt code that attempts to bypass content blocking. "Our JavaScript detects all blocked ad calls, fully recreates them (including targeting) and communicates them to our servers through a secure, undetectable channel that bypasses ad blockers," the company explains on its website.

 

According to Hill, Instart Logic's code attempts to conceal the way it disguises cookie files. "Instart Logic will detect when the developer console opens, and cleanup everything then to hide what it does," he says.

 

Detecting when a browser developer console is open for the purpose of concealing code from the technically inclined has been flagged as a bug in Chromium.

'Hostile'

"I consider this to be extremely hostile to users, even those not using a content blocker, as it allows third-party servers to read/write cookies even if a user chose to block third-party cookies," Hill explains.

 

Luke Mulks, a developer who works on the Brave browser, reports Instart's code also detects network analysis tools Wireshark and Charles Proxy.

Attempts to bypass content blocking decisions turn out to be fairly common. Hill sees websites increasingly turning to the WebRTC API to bypass content blockers.

 

In a phone interview with The Register, Peter Blum, VP product management at Instart Logic, said there's a battle going on between "quality publishers like The Register" and people who block ads.

 

"The problem has been over the past few years, the amount of people coming in with ad blockers has risen dramatically," he said. "If it keeps up, it's going to put publishers out of business and it's going to cost reporters their jobs."

 

Blum said other approaches haven't worked. Most people won't pay for content and they ignore polite requests from websites to disable ad blockers. And he said companies like Eyeo that make ad blocking software and sell advertisers access through whitelisting make some publishers uncomfortable.

 

"What we do is we work with publishers to help them create a better experience," said Blum, who attributes the desire to block ads to companies that market obnoxiously.

 

There are other reasons people cite, such as security, privacy, bandwidth, page load time, disinterest, a desire not to be manipulated, and fundamental antipathy to an industry does not guarantee the effectiveness of its product.

 

Asked to address how his company rationalizes overriding the technical decisions of users who have expressed their preference not to see ads by deploying a content blocker, Blum demurred by suggesting that was up to publishers.

 

"We provide this tool and we let the publishers have a lot of control over how they use it," he said. "I don't really get into it. We give the publishers a bunch of options."

It is perhaps worth noting that Google did something similar several years ago when it ignored content settings in Apple's Safari browser to place tracking cookies.

 

The FTC fined Google $22.5 million – a paltry sum for the company – but the Chocolate Factory's sin was going back on a previous promise to avoid such behavior rather than, say, hacking Safari users.

 

Asked why Instart Logic attempts to conceal the activity of its software when a browser's developer console is active, Blum cited the open nature of JavaScript code and said, "Like other companies we just want to protect our IP."

 

Article source

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Undertaker
Just now, dcs18 said:

Would have been interesting to see a sample site — would like to test my ad. blocking policy against against the above Instart Logic protection.

Don't think it affects firefox that much as it does to Chrome because the quote mentions of uBO-Extra, which is exclusively for chromium based browsers.

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dcs18
2 hours ago, Undertaker said:
2 hours ago, dcs18 said:

Would have been interesting to see a sample site — would like to test my ad. blocking policy against against the above Instart Logic protection.

Don't think it affects firefox that much as it does to Chrome because the quote mentions of uBO-Extra, which is exclusively for chromium based browsers.

If Instart Logic protection has been implemented on that site, my policy seems to be working great (without any additional adjustment/s.) ^_^

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Undertaker
5 minutes ago, dcs18 said:

If Instart Logic protection has been implemented on that site, my policy seems to be working great (without any additional adjustment/s.) ^_^

I have no problem either on acessing that site

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straycat19

Adblockers are fine, but I have found sites that feed ads from multiple domain names, it's like the domain name changes every time a link on a page is clicked and it opens up a new window with the ad.  At first I was adding these domain names to uBlock, but since the names just kept changing I was constantly chasing them.  To stop these I found that it uses a range of IPs that are assigned to an ad company, so I just blocked that whole range in my firewall and haven't seen an ad since.  Ever since that time, anything that the adblockers don't catch goes into my firewall IP blocking. 

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dcs18
Just now, straycat19 said:

Adblockers are fine, but I have found sites that feed ads from multiple domain names, it's like the domain name changes every time a link on a page is clicked and it opens up a new window with the ad.  At first I was adding these domain names to uBlock, but since the names just kept changing I was constantly chasing them.

Most normal Users fall into this trap because they are resigned (for obvious reasons) to use the conventional tame allow-all-block-selected policy. 8)

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straycat19
1 hour ago, SPECTRUM said:

 

maybe this ? https://blockadblock.com/

 

That site doesn't serve up any ads.  Tried it in Chrome, Firefox, and IE11 without any adblockers and no popups or anything.  They just want to sell a script to stop adblockers from accessing sites.  Sites that block me because I am running an adblocker just don't get my business (i.e. money) so it is their loss, not mine.

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Airstream_Bill
12 hours ago, dcs18 said:

Would have been interesting to see a sample site — would like to test my ad. blocking policy against against the above Instart Logic protection.

There are so many ad's anymore that I get confused.  Ha!  How are you dcs18?  GOOD I hope.

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Cerberus

Even Android apps are starting to look for ad blocking apps in order to bypass them.  TeaTV is one that is now using this method.  Of course, it is easily disabled within the apk (with the knowledge and right tools).  ;)

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dcs18
9 hours ago, Kafir said:
On 8/11/2017 at 8:12 AM, dcs18 said:

Would have been interesting to see a sample site — would like to test my ad. blocking policy against against the above Instart Logic protection.

 

The answer is right in front of your eyes.

 

On 8/11/2017 at 7:17 AM, Batu69 said:

 

Scroll down the page & you'll see a list of sites using Instart Logic tech.

Nope . . . . . . . . none of those sites were able to fool the security system on my Firefox (for whatever be the reason) — had checked them out before posting my initial response.

 

If anyone else has encountered a site where the Instart Logic technology is confirmed to be successfully implemented, would still be interested in a sample. yXZVmpE.gif

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snf

For Firefox user's disable WebRTC

For Chromium user's add Ublock Origin Extra at uBlock Origin ( Or use a build without WebRTC and add Ublock Origin Extra at uBlock Origin )

 

 

And in uBlobk Origin add in:  My rules : * * inline-script block

For me working.

 

And you can ad too

* * 3p-frame block
* * 3p-script block
But on some web site : problem ; You are told that to enable JavaScript.
 
But it happens rarely;  and for me it works very good.
Sorry if not works for other's user's .:unsure:
Edited by snf

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steven36

Even sites like Ghacks  are blocking easylist  and ublock filters now  ..I been getting into using Palemoon on Windows  with AB Prime +  Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus and uMatrix on sites that ban  my list i have in uBlock ..  I can see Ghacks with easylist + anti adblock scripts  in Firefox  but if i use uBlock filters i can't see the comments even .

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steven36

 

Quote

 

Adblock Plus wins again: New court ruling backs ad blocker against media firms
 

Germany's Eyeo, the maker of the popular Adblock Plus browser extension that's used by hundreds of millions of people, has won another round of victories over media companies that sued it in the country.

Adblock Plus, as the name suggests, prevents ads from appearing in front of its users' eyes, unless their publishers are on a whitelist of companies that only use "acceptable ads". Adblock Plus means ads that don't pop out, auto-play video, and do other annoying things to attract people's attention.

Most controversially, the largest publishers in terms of ad impressions have to pay Adblock Plus a cut of their ad revenue to be on the whitelist -- the standard rate is 30 percent -- although their ads still need to meet the standard criteria for acceptability. The company says 90 percent of those on the list are there for free.

A host of publishers and broadcasters, which depend on advertising for their revenue, have sued Adblock Plus over the past few years, including Axel Springer, Die Zeit, Handelsblatt, RTL Interactive, ProSiebenSat.1 and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

All failed, with one partial exception: in June last year, Bild publisher Axel Springer got the Cologne higher regional court to rule it was illegal for Eyeo to charge Springer for the privilege of whitelisting.

On Thursday, a Munich appellate court ruled against RTL Interactive, ProSiebenSat.1 and Süddeutsche Zeitung in their most recent attempts to finally take down Adblock Plus.

Crucially, the court also said the outfit's "acceptable ads" whitelisting practices were themselves acceptable. This position contradicts the earlier ruling, by the Cologne court, in the Springer case.

RTL Interactive and ProSiebenSat.1 have been given leave to take their appeals against their fresh defeats to German's highest court, the federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe.

"With most of the lawsuits, they have a layered approach," said Eyeo public affairs chief Laura Sophie Dornheim.

"First of all they want to get ad-blocking forbidden completely. If that's not possible, they want ad-blocking with whitelists forbidden. For me, this is really just a vehicle to get to Adblock Plus, as it's the only company in German jurisdiction that they can get hold of."

However, the court did say online publishers are free to take countermeasures against Adblock Plus, for example, by shutting out readers who have the extension active in their browser. Many publishers do that these days.

A year ago, Facebook also started fighting back against ad-blockers by modifying the code for presenting ads on its site, so that the plugins couldn't identify them as ads and block them.

Adblock Plus figured out a way to bypass Facebook's new mechanism, the whole thing went back and forth for a few rounds, and the current status is that Adblock Plus can't block ads on the social network.

"We are working on a fix, but we want the next solution to be more permanent," Dornheim said. "There are other blockers who do manage to block ads [on Facebook], but they are interfering more with the code of the site, sometimes causing the design of the website to more or less crash or be less usable, and we don't want to do that."

"We respect the publishers' settings and their decisions," she added. "We intentionally do not circumvent paywalls. Publishers have a right to choose who they're serving their content to."

 

http://www.zdnet.com/article/adblock-plus-wins-again-new-court-ruling-backs-ad-blocker-against-media-firms/

While in the EU  it is very much legal to use ADBlockers  it is also deemed legal for publishers too use Anti ADBlock techniques  ..  I been using user scripts  and Policeman and now I use uMatrix instead. to get around there nasty  tricks for many years because many sites use them to generate lots of money from ads . Just now it is getting worse and Anti ADBlock techniques have went mainstream so you may as well get use too sites like easylist  by Eyeo and Fanboy getting banned because it's the publishers right . Only thing we can do is use  is different techniques that don't depend on the ADBlockers default list too fight back.

Edited by steven36

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Reefa

Posts removed simply because utter rubbish and not to do with the Topic in hand....

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