Bypassing Ad Blocker Plus - ABP

Ad Blocker (Plus) is one of the most popular ad blocker plug-in for browsers. As of this writing, there are 1m+ users in Google Chrome and 12m+ active users in Mozilla Firefox for ABP.

It disables ads and displays white/empty blocks instead of ad images/links and provides mostly an ad-free browsing. Nonetheless, technically this plug-in can access all the web pages that you are browsing and this is a huge security and privacy issue for users.

Anyway, if you trust and install this or similar plug-in onto your internet browser, here is how it blocks advertisements at Amazon.com.

Let's look at advertisements on the Amazon's homepage with ABP plug-in.

Amazon displays ads through multiple ad networks, here I am going to summarize an ad from doubleclick ad provider.

Inside an iframe tag, an advertisement is retrieved from doubleclick.net web site.
http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/amzn.us.gw.atf;sz=300x250;bn=507846;u=119062f84df64729adb1ff5c8c2d2906;ord=0MQTWNV16PPQ8NV5G01S;s=i0;s=i1;s=i2;s=i3;s=i4;s=i6;s=i7;s=i8;s=i9;s=32;s=1009;s=863;s=833;s=67;s=m1;s=m4;s=u4;s=u5;s=u10;s=u17;z=3;tile=1?
ABP blocks doubleclick.net URL and ad cannot be fetched at all.

If an ad was fetched, an image from cloudfront.net web site will be displayed to the user.
Nonetheless, ABP blocks cloudfront.net URL as well and image cannot be shown.

If you just fetch this image from any other image provider network (e.g. ImageShack.com), ABP cannot block this ad.

In short, ABP filters advertisements from their URLs. Therefore, if a mediator server is plugged in between ad network and web site, advertisement can be served from a not blocked URL as in the following design.






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