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Online Sites Fight Back Against Blocked Ads


Assessing the battle between ad blockers and anti-ad blockers.

University of California, Riverside researchers have run several experiments to assess the state of the anti-ad blocking environment, and how it might be improved.

Credit: virusresearch.org

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) recently examined the anti-ad blocking environment and what can be done to improve it.

They ran several concurrent experiments, including a differential execution analysis to automatically detect and analyze anti-ad blockers that collected execution traces by visiting a website with and without ad blockers to measure the different in-browser experiences. This revealed anti-ad blockers on 30% of the Alexa top 10,000 sites, marking a 52% increase over the most recently reported figures.

"Our system can discover attempts to detect ad blockers even when there is no visible reaction, which happens in over 90% of cases," says UCR professor Zhiyun Qian.

The researchers used the findings to develop software tools, including JavaScript rewriting and application programming interface hooking-based solutions, to help ad blockers bypass state-of-the-art anti-ad blockers.

"It is crucial that ad blockers keep pace with anti-ad blockers in the rapidly escalating technological arms race," Qian says.

From UCR Today
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