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

AutorWang, Weihang; Zheng, Yunhui; Xing, Xinyu; Kwon, Yonghwi; Zhang, Xiangyu; Eugster, Patrick
ArtConference Proceedings
AbstraktNowadays, 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 affecting 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.
InFSE 2016 Proceedings of the 2016 24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, p.205-216