[Done] Feature request: Web bug tracking via Blockable items

Various discussions related to Adblock Plus development

[Done] Feature request: Web bug tracking via Blockable items

Postby Adblock Plus Fan » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:47 am

The idea behind this is to make it easier for filter list maintainers to detect web bugs.
Usually they are 3rd party items and easy to spot. But sometimes they are hidden and appearing as 1st party:
Adblock Plus Fan wrote:
A wrote:But you must admit noone visitig the site
"http://www.gmx.net/"
would deem
"http://www.gmx.net/cgi-bin/ivw/CP/AGOF_ID_264?[...]"
for harmful. There isn't a visible effect and the URL looks unsuspicious. Noone would even expect this is an spy image from the domain ivwbox.de, because it looks like gmx.net domain.
You do raise a good point here I guess. If they were smart, they shouldn't have made it obvious with /ivw/ in the url, and then I wouldn't have found out so easily.

From this thread: http://adblockplus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2766

So, something like this:
Image
Would make life easier for the filter list maintainers. In this case we have a new column in the blockable items list which points out the item's size whenever they are below a certain threshold.

Perhaps this threshold could be configurable in about:config? Sometimes they are not always 1x1 pixels, so it could be useful to adjust the threshold to 4x4? or maybe 5x5?

Or if this is not worth the difficulty to implement, then instead of naming it Web bug, the column could be named dimension instead, and then provide the pixel size for every item when applicable. I believe this would still be a useful tool to detect them.


Personally I think an extra Web bug/dimension column could help confuse the average user, so this should be a column which is not shown in the blockable items list by default. Advanced users and list maintainers can enable it if they find it useful and the average user won't be bothered.
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:51 pm

It seems that I will already add a size column that is hidden by default (proposal via mozilla-russia.org forum). I could probably add image size as well. Note however that web bugs don't have to be images. Scripts are far more effective web bugs.
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Postby SlimShady » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:06 pm

you mean as in script src="my web bug here" ?
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:01 pm

Yes, where the script tries to get some additional info on your browser.
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Postby salvy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:07 pm

Maybe taking for example bugnosis

I think is the only add-on* capable of detecting web bugs.

Or maybe creating a separate
extension would be also cool :D
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:20 pm

Bugnosis is only detecting web bugs, not removing them. A similar extension for Firefox that would allow adding an Adblock Plus rule with one click shouldn't be too hard to write - any volunteers?

PS: Note that you cannot do anything the first time you hit that web bug - not even its size is known before you download it. So you can only notify the user after the fact and offer to block it.
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Postby nowshining » Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:55 am

well for a detection script, or whatever - install greasemonkey and go here:
http://userscripts.org/users/68868/scripts

but for a quick webbug remover i suggest the adblock element or I don't if it would work without it, prob. would, use this rule and should block a lot of web bugs:

Code: Select all
#*(width=1)(height=1)


and alas adblock forum here seems to have a web bug i think :)
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Postby rick752 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:25 am

You can't block a tracker with an #element-hiding rule. Element-hiding rules still allow downloading of the tracker. All trackers need to be stopped with regular blocking rules.
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Re:

Postby smk_ » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:54 am

Code: Select all
#*(width=1)(height=1)

this would also hide some 1*1 pixels whos purpose is to compose a line, not to track

adblock forum here seems to have a web bug i think

really? i can't find any. Can you give me the url for the webbug image?
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Postby Ares2 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:12 pm

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Re:

Postby smk » Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:03 pm

ok, thanks
it's not really tracking then
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:01 am

Size column in Blockable items has been added: http://hg.mozdev.org/adblockplus/rev/1493f247f328
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Postby Hubird » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:31 pm

How do I enable the size column in the latest dev build ?

I have checked http://adblockplus.org/en/preferences#hidden_options

No mention of the word "size"

I also check the "view" options in the blockable items list.
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Postby Wladimir Palant » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:37 pm

@Hubird: there is a column picker at the outer right of the list header, click it. I'll probably end up with something similar to the View menu in Preferences there as well - but not in this release.

Btw, documentation hasn't been updated for the new release yet, I usually don't do that until shortly before the release.
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Postby Hubird » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:53 pm

I guess it kind of makes sense and I doubt anything could be done about it anyway but blocked images don't show the size.
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