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Experts bypass ad blocker protection with machine learning

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Many sites “mix” advertising and real content, restricting viewing of the resource when the ad blocker is enabled.

Researchers from Virginia Tech and University of California (Davis) in the US and FAST NUCES and Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan have developed a machine learning-based method for identifying websites that are resistant to ad blocking and other privacy-preserving technologies. The experts also analyzed the methods used by such sites to “mix” advertising and real content, as a result of which the latter is not displayed when the ad blocker is enabled.

Experts conducted a large-scale study of “mixed resources” on 100,000 websites and found that 17% of domains, 48% of hostnames, 6% of scripts and 9% of content delivery methods intentionally combine tracking (advertising) functions with processes that provide real content. … In such cases, the content of the article will disappear for users who are using ad blocking software, forcing them to disable these measures in order to further view the content.

Researchers have proposed a system capable of separating the components of these “blended” web assets with 98% accuracy, giving ad blocking and anti-tracking solutions a chance to untangle streams in later iterations of their software and re-enable content access on ad-blocking pages. …

Ad blocking systems generally rely on the fact that advertising content on a web page comes from specific, dedicated domains (advertising technologies with domain names and / or IP addresses). This approach allows you to design block lists that will not display content from these sources within a web page.

The experts created the TrackerSift platform for analyzing network resources loaded by websites, with the subsequent division of mixed resources into “content” and “advertising”. At its most general level of analysis, TrackerSift records basic network requests for resources such as ad content sourced from a content delivery network or ad platform. It then details the content of the extracted resources by performing code-level analysis and distinguishing the functions of different types of code calls and procedures.

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Trump’s social network developers accused of illegal use of program code

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The Software Freedom Conservancy claims Trump Media and Technology Group copied the open source code of the decentralized social network Mastodon, created a new social network based on it.

The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a not-for-profit organization that enforces the rights of open source software developers and the rules for using open licenses, accused in violation of the AGPLv3 license of the Trump social network developers Truth Social.

The Software Freedom Conservancy says that the developers of the service used the open source code of the decentralized social network Mastodon in violation of the license agreement.

Although the Mastodon code is free and free, the projects using it must comply with the terms of the Affero General Public License (or AGPLv3), among which is the mandatory availability of the project source code for all its users. Trump’s media company does not yet provide such an opportunity to TRUTH Social users and calls the social network a proprietary development.

The Software Freedom Conservancy gave Trump Media and Technology Group 30 days to improve, writes The Verge. Otherwise, the use of open source Mastodon will be prohibited for the company.

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Facebook end-to-end encryption will give foreign intelligence services surveillance capabilities

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Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen criticized the company’s decision to transfer correspondence in its services to end-to-end encryption.

The introduction of end-to-end encryption in Facebook messengers could negatively affect the privacy of users and lead to increased surveillance by intelligence agencies. This opinion was expressed by a former employee of Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Frances Haugen, reports TASS.

According to her, after the launch of encryption in the Messenger application and the social network Instagram, which are owned by Facebook, the company will lose the ability to track possible “malicious operations of special services representatives.” “End-to-End Encryption Will Allow Facebook to Eliminate [от модерирования контента] and serve as an excuse for inaction, “Haugen said ahead of her October 25 speech in the British Parliament as part of discussions on online security bill.

The social network itself does not agree with this point of view. In their opinion, the introduction of end-to-end encryption in Facebook Messenger and Instagram applications, on the contrary, is aimed primarily at protecting the privacy of users and will protect them not only from foreign surveillance, but also from hackers.

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On October 24, a bug in GPSD will send users 19 years back

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The effect of the error can lead to unpredictable failures on different systems, including those that do not directly use GPSD, since this application is used to obtain accurate time data on some NTP servers used for time synchronization.

A critical issue has been identified in the GPSD package, which is used to extract accurate time and position data from GPS devices, which will cause the time to shift 1024 weeks ago on October 24, i.e. time will be changed to March 2002. About it informs opennet.ru.

The issue appeared in releases 3.20 through 3.22 inclusive and was fixed in the GPSD 3.23 release (the fix was also backported to the 3.22 Debian package). All users of systems that use GPSD need to urgently install updates, or be prepared for a failure.

The effect of the error can lead to unpredictable failures on different systems, including those that do not directly use GPSD, since this application is used to obtain accurate time data on some NTP servers used for time synchronization. When the time is shifted, the systems can experience problems with authentication (for example, one-time passwords, Kerberos and other access verification mechanisms that have an expiration date will stop working), with the verification of certificates and with calculations that manipulate time ranges (for example, calculating the time of a user’s session).

GPSD is also used in car navigators, drones, robots, military equipment, marine and aviation navigation equipment, in various mobile devices, including those based on the Android platform, for many of which firmware updates are no longer available. Usually, on such devices, GPSD work is related to navigation and does not affect the setting of the system time.

The GPS protocol provides for a week counter, counting weeks from January 5, 1980. The problem is that when broadcasting, only 10 bits are allocated for this counter, which implies that it overflows every 1023 weeks (19.7 years). The first overflow occurred in 1999, the second in 2019, and the third in 2038. These events are tracked by manufacturers and have special handlers for them. Currently, a new GPS message format (CNAV) has been introduced in parallel, in which 13 bits are allocated for the counter (i.e. overflow is expected only in 2137).

In GPSD, in the logic of correcting the appearance of an extra second (added in order to synchronize the reference world atomic clock with the astronomical time of the Earth), an error was made due to which on October 24, 2021, 1024 will be prematurely subtracted from the counter of the number of weeks. As planned by the author of the code, the shift was supposed to occur on December 31, 2022, but the translation of this date into the number of weeks was not performed correctly and the number of weeks actually given in the check fell under October 2021 (the value is 2180 instead of 2600).

/* sanity check week number, GPS epoch, against leap seconds
* Does not work well with regressions because the leap_sconds
* could be from the receiver, or from BUILD_LEAPSECONDS. */
if (0 < session->context->leap_seconds &&
19 > session->context->leap_seconds &&
2180 < week) {
/* assume leap second = 19 by 31 Dec 2022
* so week > 2180 is way in the future, do not allow it */
week -= 1024;
GPSD_LOG(LOG_WARN, &session->context->errout,
"GPS week confusion. Adjusted week %u for leap %dn",
week, session->context->leap_seconds);
}

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