Publication
FSE 2016
Conference paper

WebRanz: Web page randomization for better advertisement delivery and web-bot prevention

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Abstract

Nowadays, a rapidly increasing number of web users are using Ad-blockers to block online advertisements. Ad-blockers are browser-based software that can block most Ads on the websites, speeding up web browsers and saving bandwidth. Despite these benefits to end users, Ad-blockers could be catastrophic for the economic structure underlying the web, especially considering the rise of Ad-blocking as well as the number of technologies and services that rely exclusively on Ads to compensate their cost. In this paper, we introduce WebRanz that utilizes a randomization mechanism to circumvent Ad-blocking. Using WebRanz, content publishers can constantly mutate the internal HTML elements and element attributes of their web pages, without afiecting their visual appearances and functionalities. Randomization invalidates the pre-defined patterns that Ad-blockers use to filter out Ads. Though the design of WebRanz is motivated by evading Ad-blockers, WebRanz also benefits the defense against bot scripts. We evaluate the effectiveness of WebRanz and its overhead using 221 randomly sampled top Alexa web pages and 8 representative bot scripts.

Date

01 Nov 2016

Publication

FSE 2016

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