Automatic Ad Blocking: Improving AdBlock for the Mozilla Platform
With: Justin Crites
Where: Rice University, COMP 527 Computer Systems Security
When: December 7, 2004
Advertising on the world wide web is increasingly becoming problematic. In addition to merely being a nuisance, advertisements may also pose a threat to user security. Blocking web advertisements can thus substantially improve the user’s browsing experience.
AdBlock is an open-source plugin for Mozilla browsers that uses regular expressions, an advanced concept unfamiliar to novice users, to block a limited number of HTML elements. This paper describes some of AdBlock’s shortcomings and the remedies we implemented: automatically generating regular expressions, allowing for web updates, and vastly extending the set of blockable elements.