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WTF AdBlockers
How do they work?
Matt O’Neill
hello.
what is ad blocking?
– Lennox1339, reddit/r/ShowerThoughts
“Browsing without an ad blocker is like [making love] without
a condom. Only do it w...
“My right to protect myself from
malvertising, spyware, and totally irrelevant
advertising.”
“A way to speed up my web bro...
“Outright theft of my content”
“A reflection of how consumers feel about
online advertising”
“It’s only really used by youn...
The hiding or request denial of content not directly related to
core content of a page or app. This includes display & vid...
ad blocking: a brief history
0
75
150
225
300
2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
2002
AdBlock launched
Blocks based on
source of creative
200...
how does it work?
Some Ad Blocking Terms
Browser Extension: A small program that is linked to a web browser like Chrome or Firefox.
Content ...
Element Hiding + Request Blocking
Element hiding: A CSS snippet is injected into the DOM via the
browser extension to hide...
The steps to blocking
User requests a web page with ad blocking enabled

Ad blocker is an extension to the browser

Ad blo...
Domain Filtering
Other Blocking Methods
“Ad blockers - a white paper”, Secret Media - 2014
What the browser sees
With ad blocking
Let’s make an ad blocker!
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;
my %hosts = ();
while ( <> ) {
if ( $_ =~ m/^||([a-z][a-z0-9-_.]+...
recent developments
improved mobile blocking
adblock + ad block plus
acceptable ads
rise of blocker blockers
shine & carrier level blocking
ad blocking: weaknesses
annoying the privacy gods
adoption of encrypted web
calls / https
Mobile is a challenge,
especially in app
native and facebook
takeways
it’s not hard to build
it’s largely open source and
globally crowd sourced
it requires access to something
in the document to work
ultimately it can be defeated
by publishers and ad tech
But at what cost…
thank you
Matt O’Neill

moneill@teemo-ltd.co.uk
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How do ad blockers work? - WTF Ad Blocking UK, 3/10/16

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Matt O'Neill from Teemo's presentation from Digiday's WTF Ad Blocking event in London - March 10, 2016.

Publicado en: Marketing
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How do ad blockers work? - WTF Ad Blocking UK, 3/10/16

  1. 1. WTF AdBlockers How do they work? Matt O’Neill
  2. 2. hello.
  3. 3. what is ad blocking?
  4. 4. – Lennox1339, reddit/r/ShowerThoughts “Browsing without an ad blocker is like [making love] without a condom. Only do it with someone you trust.”
  5. 5. “My right to protect myself from malvertising, spyware, and totally irrelevant advertising.” “A way to speed up my web browsing.” “It saves me a huge amount of money on my mobile data plan.” “I don’t want to be tracked by marketers. It’s creepy.”
  6. 6. “Outright theft of my content” “A reflection of how consumers feel about online advertising” “It’s only really used by young, male techies.” “It’s the same as pirating movies”
  7. 7. The hiding or request denial of content not directly related to core content of a page or app. This includes display & video advertising, text links, content recommendation and marketing, native advertising and other paid and unpaid placements.
  8. 8. ad blocking: a brief history
  9. 9. 0 75 150 225 300 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2002 AdBlock launched Blocks based on source of creative 2006 ADB+ released as standalone extension Site level blocking enabled 2010 AdBlock+ released as Chrome Extension 2013 Support added for IE Removed from Google Play but available on the ADB+ site 2014 AdBlock Plus released for OS X Safari 2015 Blocker browsers Apple Support for ad blocking Blocker blockers emerge Network / carrier level blocking AdBlock+ launched ‘acceptable ads’ as an industry initiative History of Ad Blocking 2004 Content policies leveraged as blocking mechanism Scripts, background images, stylesheets added to lockable item list 2005 Whitelisting introduced localised versions launched list & filter synching
  10. 10. how does it work?
  11. 11. Some Ad Blocking Terms Browser Extension: A small program that is linked to a web browser like Chrome or Firefox. Content Policies / Filtering: The use of a program to screen and exclude from access or availability Web pages or electronic content that is deemed objectionable. DOM (Document Object Model): An API to an underlying HTML or XML document represented typically by a hierarchy of objects within the document. DPI (Deep Packet Inspection): A kind of filtering that examines the data part and header of a chunk of information as it passes a point in a network. It searches for protocol non-compliance, viruses, spam, intrusions, and other flagged information. Gecko: A web browser designed to support open Internet standards and is used by different applications to display web pages and, in some cases, an application's user interface itself. It is free and open-source software. Lists (e.g. EasyList): a collection of domains, sub-domains, and other references to technology that delivers advertising to browsers RegEx (Regular Expression): A way to search for parts of a string of text. Similar to using an * when looking for a filename.
  12. 12. Element Hiding + Request Blocking Element hiding: A CSS snippet is injected into the DOM via the browser extension to hide elements. Ads are completely removed from the rendered page. This doesn't prevent resources from loading in the first place. Request blocking: To keep the payload from loading in the first place, HTTP requests for retrieving resources that are supposed to be blocked are blocked entirely. This will make the page load faster by reducing data throughput. Request blocking enables blocking content that is loaded from within Flash or HTML5 including video pre-roll. http://stackoverflow.com/users/406565/sebastian-noack
  13. 13. The steps to blocking User requests a web page with ad blocking enabled Ad blocker is an extension to the browser Ad blocker references a list of know ad servers and content delivery networks (CDNs) The ad blocker inspects the DOM for scripts and CSS known to be affiliated with advertising The ad blocker cleans up the holes (sometimes) in the page to tidy to up The page renders on the user’s browser
  14. 14. Domain Filtering
  15. 15. Other Blocking Methods “Ad blockers - a white paper”, Secret Media - 2014
  16. 16. What the browser sees
  17. 17. With ad blocking
  18. 18. Let’s make an ad blocker! #!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict; my %hosts = (); while ( <> ) { if ( $_ =~ m/^||([a-z][a-z0-9-_.]+.([a-z]{2,3}))^s*$/ ) { $hosts{$1} = 1; } } foreach my $host ( sort keys %hosts ) { print( "127.0.0.1t$hostn" ); } moneill$ perl filter-easylist-to-hosts.pl easylist.txt >easylist.hosts moneill$ cp /etc/hosts etc/hosts.bak moneill$ cp easylist.hosts /etc/hosts moneill$ wget https://easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org/ easylist.txt --2016-03-08 14:31:34-- https://easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org/ easylist.txt Resolving easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org... 136.243.62.212, 148.251.139.76, 2a01:4f8:212:1626::2, ... Connecting to easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org|136.243.62.212|: 443... connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK Length: 1756007 (1.7M) [text/plain] Saving to: 'easylist.txt' easylist.txt 100%[===================>] 1.67M 368KB/s in 4.4s https://newspaint.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/filtering-easylist-for-hosts-file-style-adblock/
  19. 19. recent developments
  20. 20. improved mobile blocking
  21. 21. adblock + ad block plus acceptable ads
  22. 22. rise of blocker blockers
  23. 23. shine & carrier level blocking
  24. 24. ad blocking: weaknesses
  25. 25. annoying the privacy gods
  26. 26. adoption of encrypted web calls / https
  27. 27. Mobile is a challenge, especially in app
  28. 28. native and facebook
  29. 29. takeways
  30. 30. it’s not hard to build
  31. 31. it’s largely open source and globally crowd sourced
  32. 32. it requires access to something in the document to work
  33. 33. ultimately it can be defeated by publishers and ad tech But at what cost…
  34. 34. thank you Matt O’Neill
 moneill@teemo-ltd.co.uk

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