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Hav0c

Blocking of advertisements

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So I was sitting here and thinking,

 

Where/how do you guys block ads ?

Lets lists the options

1) Using a Brower addon (Adblock plus, Adblock, uBlock enc) including subscription

2) Using the host file

3) Using the router (if so what router do you have)

4) Using a 3rd party DNS servers (OpenDNS, Norton ConnectSafe enc)

5) Using DNS tools like (Pi-hole, pfsense), in a way the same  as option 4

6) Combination of listed

 

I use a combination of Brower addon with subscription and the Host file.

Thinking of moving all to the Router itself so doing no need for me to update the Host file every now and then and having the benefit of blocking network/device wide and not just per PC/Laptop.

 

Note:
This is an advice only thread,
Please do not post links to the host file, browser subscriptions or tools here.
Think that was covers a couple of times in the past.

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same here.

only use FF with uBlock and MVPS hosts file.

just keeping it simple, don't let it rule my life, don't believe 'the man' is caring what he listens into from the chatter from my PC, although I know 'he' is there, just doesn't bother me.

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2 hours ago, mta said:

same here.

only use FF with uBlock and MVPS hosts file.

just keeping it simple, don't let it rule my life, don't believe 'the man' is caring what he listens into from the chatter from my PC, although I know 'he' is there, just doesn't bother me.

 

You must watch it calling them 'The man",

some people may find it offensive:  "The WoMan" :):)  :D

 

It not about them listening in, it's more about the frustration of seeing some of this ads online, the fact that it's heavy on data usage and this new Browser mining epidemic that is going around.
Was hit by a site a while back and darn my girl (my PC) was mad at me....

 

Was wondering if  Browese addons and Host file not cause duplicate entries some of the time hmmmm.

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Only ublock origin.  Tried uMatrix and found it bewildering, may try it later when there's time to dig into it. Keep planning to use a hosts file just never get around to it. 

For win xp & win 7.

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1. HOSTS File.
2. Browser addon/extension: uBlock Origin in Firefox and SRWare Iron.
3. Hardware: Only a handful of the very popular over-used ad servers I've blocked in my DSL modem, which only allows maybe 30 entries due to memory limitations I'd suppose and then it starts getting confused. If only it had the ability to load from a text file the URL's, IP Addresses, etc., of what to block but it can't do that at all.

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Just Adblock as a FF extension.

Interestingly Malwarbytes is currently trialing an FF extension that includes an adblocker, among other features.
It's still experimental, (not even Beta yet), but is available to the public. (Released by mistake but once people noticed and asked about it they left it live).
I won't give a link but it's easy enough to find if you want to try it.

From the Malwarebytes forum:

We were trying to set-up the Firefox extension so that we can start the internal Beta of this technology. The early availability, although unintended, still contains a lot of kinks to iron out as it is an early Beta and was meant for Malwarebytes employees only. However, since the cat is out of the bag, we encourage you to try it and do give us feedback.

If you want to know more there are already a few write ups on the web; but of course being experimental you may not want to try it yet.

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Additional to the above.

I have installed this experimental version of the Malwarebytes addon (couldn't resist a look).

It does not block ads from displaying, maybe it will in a later version? But it is saying it is stopping them tracking your activity.
Try it on something like a newspaper website and see how many it says it has blocked.
Guess we just have to take their word for that at the moment.

Not sure how to gauge the other protections, how often are you going to hit a scam or clickbait site?

I'm going to leave it running for now, alongside adblock.

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2 hours ago, nukecad said:

how often are you going to hit a scam or clickbait site?

Misspelling a very popular website address URL and you can wind up with an infected computer if your browser's security and AV solution fails.

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7 hours ago, nukecad said:

....how often are you going to hit a scam or clickbait site?

4 hours ago, Andavari said:

Misspelling a very popular website address URL and you can wind up with an infected computer if your browser's security and AV solution fails.

To follow up on Andavaris post

Just look at all the entries within the Host file and EasyList as a guide and note all the common misspellings of the sites.

Sothing else to look into and the the amount of traffic they get....

 

 

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I guess it depends on how you use your browser, I'll reword that:

In 30 years of computing I've only inadvertently landed on scam websites 2 or 3 times, not realy often enough to test a particular blocking application.
(Of course you can always switch your other protections off and deliberately go to the scam sites if you want to test something).

As for clickbait, a closer look shows that is mainly what the MB experimental addon is blocking on the newspaper websites, (most of?) the clickbait is not displayed.
Toggling the app on and off shows what it is blocking.

So for the moment I'm using AdBlock to block ads, and MB experimental to block clickbait (and trying to gauge what else it may be doing in 'normal' use).

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I think MB having their own experimental extension is alright, however I'd hope for more to be honest. I'm surprised they haven't just coded their own very security focused clones of Firefox and Chrome/Chromium that are automatically sandboxed with strong malware protection (perhaps cloud-based) built in, and what that extension is for -- that way if something were to get through the browser's protection the installed version of MB (or a traditional AV product) would then be tasked to deal with it.

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2 hours ago, Andavari said:

 however I'd hope for more to be honest.

As said above it was never meant to be publicly released in it's current form, still 'experimental' not even Beta.
In particular the user interface could do with some work, which is what you would expect with something in early development.


They did take it down once they noticed their error, but as news spread, and as it was being discussed on their forum they decided to put it back and let people try it and give feedback.
That may have been another mistake, it's now going to get unfavourably compared (already has) to similar products that have been finished.

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uBo is used here only to make the pages load quicker and look neater, not prevent malware. 

For protection from issues other than ads,  I use Avast, Sandboxie, Spywareblaster, and a system virtualization software.

If something does go wrong, a reboot and you're back in business. 

Twice, maybe more, I have clicked on a perfectly harmless looking link on a perfectly benign website and gotten  hammered. 

 

 

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On 2018/01/24 at 16:36, login123 said:

 a system virtualization software.

 

Do you mind elaborating on it a bit ?

 

What I am seeing here is all are using some sort of Browser blocker..

Interesting development...

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3 hours ago, Hav0c said:

Do you mind elaborating on it a bit ?

Sure thing.  For windows xp I use Powershadow, and for win 7 Shadow Defender.  Powershadow is free, Shadow Defender is not.  When these softwares are activated, the operating system runs in virtual mode.  What that means is that after they are activated, any changes to the OS partition are gone when you restart. 

So I start the computer, update any software that needs it, disconnect from the net, then activate Powershadow or Shadow Defender, then go about business as usual.  So the anti-malware softwares and the OS are up to date (edit: and stay up to date while the OS is running virtualized). Only thing is, if any updates come along while your OS is running virtualized, you'll have to do them again after the next restart.  If any software worth saving comes along, it is saved to a different partition on this HDD, or to an external USB HDD, and it can be reinstalled permanently later. 

For an additional layer of safety, I only run portable browsers inside Sandboxie while the OS is virtualized. Makes it very difficult to infect the OS immediately, and afaik impossible to set something inside C: partition to run on restart.  Many malwares do that, set up a file to run on restart and finish the infection process.

Some folks have suggested that with such a setup one doesn't need anti-malware software. I want that stuff running in real time so if problems happen I can see them immediately.

All that is about a bit more than just ad blockers or hosts files, but it's what will protect you in case all else fails. I imagine some of the moderators cringed when they read "Do you mind elaborating on it a bit ?", but there ya go, no harm done.   Everything I know in 5 easy paragraphs.  :P

 

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10 hours ago, login123 said:

 Powershadow or Shadow Defender

You did what was asked, short to the point !!
HAHAHA.

Sounds like software that I know of called Deep Freeze. It's a slept to setup correctly but the principle the same: Lock OS and applications down, Reboot and all is gone after a session.


Okay drifting a bit here, that a massive amount of overkill just to get protected from "ads" :)

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11 hours ago, login123 said:

When these softwares are activated, the operating system runs in virtual mode.

I don't know the depth of how those work having never truly being interested in them, however just looking at some YouTube malware removal videos has shown that some malware is able to still damage stuff even on virtualized systems. So perhaps having a known good full disk image backup stored off the system is still a very good practice for people depending upon virtualization to save their bacon in case of system damage from malware or buggy/shoddy software.

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I decided to try out the Pi-hole project.

Just to see what all the fuzz is about and how it works and got a Pi in the closet that does nothing.

 

Have to say, it's impressive.
What Pi-hole does is it blocks all ads, malware, cryptocurrency mining on a network level, not per device with no added ad-ons on the device. Being it a tablet, cellphone or your fridge :) where one browse the internet.

The interface is extremely use friendly, the stats it provide is handy and clear. Quite shocking at times as well.

Here are some of my stats.  The red block is entries of the 3rd party lists that I have added just to cover more basses. The rest are standard entries provided by the developers.

Pi.jpg.0b7a9e49deaf13216a92cbe32d22c6ce.jpg

Note: that this is only for about 5 hours give or take of stats and not consecutive browsing.

 

As can see there was 4 clients that made 4,946 DNS requites out of that 1,224 was blocked or Pi-holed as they state it, out of a list of 109,935 blockable entries.

To think how big the internet is and we only know of about 109,935 bad/no go domains. (at time if writhing)

 

The only small drawback that I see is that this will only help on your network, and once the device is off your network and onto others network you are back at square one with the ads and so on.

Over all I can see this;

Providing stats of who is browsing what sites (even gave me the stats of my phone applications DNS requests )
Helping parents blocking snooping kids....
Keeping your browsing save and clean ON ALL devices on your network.

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I know from the past using adblocking software that approximately 25% of what a browser tries to fetch is filtered with adblocking enabled.

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Emailed the developers and asked them how well Pi-hole and browser based ad blockers work.

This was their response

Quote

Browser based ad blockers usually complement Pi-hole by removing empty ad spaces and blocking some of the harder to block ads (from a DNS perspective) such as YouTube video ads.

So in the end one would still need a browser based ad blocker...

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