UI computer scientists identify thousands of major sites using anti-ad-blocking measures.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 8:40am

The research is conducted as part of National Science Foundation funded project lead by Umar Iqbal (PhD Student Computer Science) and Zubair Shafiq (Assistant Professor Computer Science) and collaborators at the University of California-Riverside.

NSF project link: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1715152

Research papers:

  • Umar Iqbal, Zubair Shafiq, Zhiyun Qian. The Ad Wars: Retrospective Measurement and Analysis of Anti-Adblock Filter Lists. ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), 2017.
  • Shitong Zhu, Xunchao Hu, Zhiyun Qian, Zubair Shafiq, Heng Yin. Measuring and Disrupting Anti-Adblockers Using Differential Execution Analysis. Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), 2018.

Press coverage:

  • Research finds 52 times more online anti-ad blocking than previously thought | Phys.org | 2/7/2018
  • Detecting Adblocker Blockers | Schneier on Security | 1/5/2018
  • 9% of Most Popular Websites Use Anti-Adblock Scripts | PerformanceIN | 1/3/2018
  • 9% of Popular Websites Use Anti-Adblock Scripts | Bleeping Computer | 1/2/2018
  • Academic researchers fire latest shots in adblocking arms race | Ars Technica | 1/2/2018
  • Researchers reveal many top websites fight ad blocking, but quietly | SiliconANGLE | 12/28/2017
  • Researchers reveal thousands of major sites are using anti-ad-blocking measures | PC Mag | 12/28/2017
  • Thousands of websites are quietly fighting ad blocking | Engadget | 12/28/2017
  • Thousands of major sites are taking silent anti-ad-blocking measures | TechCrunch | 12/27/2017
  • Anti-adblock is a lot more common than anyone thought, but it's not hard to defeat | Boing Boing  | 12/27/2017

Related press:

  • Want to Protect Against Websites That Spy on You? Get an Ad Blocker. | Consumer Reports | 2/15/2018