FBI 建議用擋廣告軟體降低瀏覽時的風險

在「Even the FBI says you should use an ad blocker」這邊看到的新聞,FBI 的公告則是在「Cyber Criminals Impersonating Brands Using Search Engine Advertisement Services to Defraud Users」這邊可以看到。

起因是有很多網路犯罪行為會透過購買廣告,在搜尋引擎上曝光誘導使用者點擊:

Cyber criminals purchase advertisements that appear within internet search results using a domain that is similar to an actual business or service. When a user searches for that business or service, these advertisements appear at the very top of search results with minimum distinction between an advertisement and an actual search result. These advertisements link to a webpage that looks identical to the impersonated business’s official webpage.

其中一種方式是,使用者輸入關鍵字想要下載某些特定的軟體,這時候網路犯罪者就會透過下廣告的方式,誘導使用者到假的網站下載有後門木馬的軟體:

In instances where a user is searching for a program to download, the fraudulent webpage has a link to download software that is actually malware. The download page looks legitimate and the download itself is named after the program the user intended to download.

這個方式讓我想到之前北韓政府對 PuTTY 的攻擊:「Trojanized versions of PuTTY utility being used to spread backdoor」。

而 FBI 建議個人的保護方式包括了 ad blocking extension,這算是減少被攻擊的管道:

Use an ad blocking extension when performing internet searches. Most internet browsers allow a user to add extensions, including extensions that block advertisements. These ad blockers can be turned on and off within a browser to permit advertisements on certain websites while blocking advertisements on others.

然後建議擋廣告軟體就是用 uBlock Origin,無論是 Chromium 系列的瀏覽器 (包括 Google Chrome),或是 Firefox 都有支援。

自己從頭搞整套 Pi-hole 方案 (DNS 阻擋廣告的方案)

如果不用 Pi-hole 這種套件的話,從頭自己搞差不多就是這樣:「Ads blocking with OpenBSD unbound(8)」。

作者除了阻擋的必要功能部份以外,還把 log 導出來丟進 InfluxDB,透過 Grafana 可以看狀態,這類似於 Pi-hole 提供的方案:

Grafana to render the statistics ;
InfluxDB to store the information ;
syslogd(8) and awk(1) to turn DNS queries into statistics ;
collectd(1) and shell script to store unbound statistics and logs ;
unbound(8) and shell script to get and block DNS queries.

對應的 diagram 長這樣 (但為什麼作者要用 comic sans 呢...):

瀏覽器可以用 uBlock Origin 這類方案來做,可以擋的更細緻,而手機 app 一般就只能靠這種方法過濾掉部份的廣告。

如果想要擋更多的話 (像是只擋某個 url,而不是整個 domain),得用自建的 root CA 加上 MITM 的方式攔 HTTPS 連線,這通常都是在手機上面跑 virtual VPN,像是 iOS 上的 Surge 5 或是 Quantumult X

uBO Lite:另外一個方向的嘗試

兩個禮拜前在 Hacker News 上看到的東西,算是 uBlock OriginManifest V3 (MV3) 的另外一種嘗試:「uBlock Origin Lite: Description (github.com/gorhill)」,專案的說明在「uBO Lite (uBOL), an experimental permission-less MV3 API-based content blocker.」這邊。

先前在「因應 Manifest V3 而推出的 uBlock Minus (MV3)」這邊提到的 uBlock Minus 是在 MV3 環境下的一個嘗試,但這個版本只是把 MV3 做不到的事情先拔掉,所以缺了很多重要的功能,像是 cosmetic filtering (主要是針對瀏覽器不支援的 css selector,像是最近才剛支援的 :has(),而這些 css selector 對於選擇要幹掉的 html 元素很好用)。

uBO Lite 則是一個妥協,另外讓使用者對特定站台點選授權,而在這些特定授權的站台可以恢復到原來 MV2 時可以過濾的能力 (包含 cosmetic filtering 等等的能力):

但這個方案也是 Google 所樂見的,只要不方便就會讓使用者慢慢放棄。

目前的公告提到 MV2 只支援到明年一月,大概還有三四個月的時間,接下來 adblock 這塊應該會有很多新的方法陸陸續續冒出來...

因應 Manifest V3 而推出的 uBlock Minus (MV3)

前幾天在 Hacker News 上看到「“UBO Minus (MV3)” – An Experimental uBlock Origin Build for Manifest V3 (github.com/gorhill)」這個,裡面是 uBlock Origin 的作者 Raymond Hill 針對 Manifest V3 的半殘版,取名為 uBO Minus (MV3):「Add experimental mv3 version」。

在這個版本裡會有不少的功能失效,尤其是用的很多的 cosmetic filtering:

- No cosmetic filtering (##)
- No scriptlet injection (##+js)
- No redirect= filters
- No csp= filters
- No removeparam= filters

這個版本應該是打算要提供給 Manifest V2 被 Google 廢掉後還在用 Google 控制的瀏覽器的人,依照「Manifest V2 support timeline」這邊看起來是明年一月:

Banner blindness

前幾天的 Hacker News Daily 上看到「Why do people not notice our enormous, prominent, clear and contrasting purple banner?」這篇 2018 年的討論,裡面在講為什麼使用者會常態性忽略 banner 的內容。

在答覆區裡面有人提到了維基百科上面的 Banner blindness 這個條目,題到了網站的使用者會刻意或是非刻意的忽略掉像 banner 的資訊:

Banner blindness is a phenomenon in web usability where visitors to a website consciously or unconsciously ignore banner-like information. A broader term covering all forms of advertising is ad blindness, and the mass of banners that people ignore is called banner noise.

開頭也提到了 banner 廣告 CTR 的變化:

The first banner ad appeared in 1994. The average click-through rate (CTR) dropped from 2% in 1995 to 0.5% in 1998. After a relatively stable period with a 0.6% click-through rate in 2003, CTR rebounded to 1% by 2013.

所以這個現象有個專有名詞來形容...

Amazon Echo 會「聽」並且將資料送到第三方廣告平台

前陣子看到的研究報告,證實 Amazon Echo 會聽取資訊並且將這些資料送到第三方的廣告平台上 (會送到 Amazon 自家應該不算新聞):「Your Echos are Heard: Tracking, Profiling, and Ad Targeting in the Amazon Smart Speaker Ecosystem」。

先從 abstract 開始看,主要是目前這些 smart speaker 基本上沒有透明度,所以十位作者群們建立了一套評估用的 framework 用來測試各家 smart speaker 資訊蒐集已經影響的情況:

Smart speakers collect voice input that can be used to infer sensitive information about users. Given a number of egregious privacy breaches, there is a clear unmet need for greater transparency and control over data collection, sharing, and use by smart speaker platforms as well as third party skills supported on them. To bridge the gap, we build an auditing framework that leverages online advertising to measure data collection, its usage, and its sharing by the smart speaker platforms.

這次論文裡面提到的目標就是 Amazon Echo 會將聽到的東西分享給第三方的廣告平台,並且讓廣告平台可以調整競價 (賺更多的錢),而且這些資訊並沒有被揭露在 privacy policy 裡面:

We evaluate our framework on the Amazon smart speaker ecosystem. Our results show that Amazon and third parties (including advertising and tracking services) collect smart speaker interaction data. We find that Amazon processes voice data to infer user interests and uses it to serve targeted ads on-platform (Echo devices) as well as off-platform (web). Smart speaker interaction leads to as much as 30X higher ad bids from advertisers. Finally, we find that Amazon's and skills' operational practices are often not clearly disclosed in their privacy policies.

幾個比較重要的資訊,其中一個是「Network traffic distribution by persona, domain name, purpose, and organization」:

另外一個重點是哪些 3rd-party:

就心裡有個底,然後隔壁棚也有類似產品 (主業是做廣告的那家),大概要跑不掉...

原來 Waterfox 早就被廣告公司收購了...

看到「Waterfox G4.1.0 update reduces requirement to SSE 4.1, sets Startpage as the default search engine for Private Tabs」這篇才發現 Waterfox 在 2019 年年底的時候早就被廣告公司 System1 收購:「Waterfox web browser sold to System1」,過了兩個多月被 Ghacks 寫成新聞後才發表對應的公告:「Waterfox has joined System1」。

先前研究 Google Chrome 的替代品時有列到清單裡找機會測,看起來可以跳過了...

而這次的報導則是題到了 Waterfox 將 Private Tabs 的預設搜尋引擎改成 Startpage,關於 Startpage 之前在「Startpage 被廣告公司收購」這邊也提過了...

裝 uBlock Origin 擋詐騙廣告:金石堂

昨天在噗浪上看到這則:「金石堂的google搜尋推薦第一位是詐騙網站」。

這邊一直在推廣 uBlock Origin,在主要的幾個瀏覽器上都有支援:

從上面那則噗裡的討論可以看到,把一個檢舉掉了,過幾個小時候另外一個還是會冒出來...

美國聯邦政府 CIO 以資安理由建議安裝 ad block 軟體

Hacker News Daily 上看到的,美國聯邦政府的 CIO Clare Martorana 行文建議行政管理和預算局 (Office of Management and Budget) 安裝 ad block 軟體以確保資訊安全:「The NSA and CIA Use Ad Blockers Because Online Advertising Is So Dangerous」。行文的文件在「Wyden Letter to OMB on Ad-Blocking」這邊可以看到,另外在 Hacker News 上的討論「The NSA and CIA use ad blockers (vice.com)」也可以翻。

有很多惡意軟體 (像是 malware) 會透過合法的 ad network 散布,然後竊取資料,甚至是透過麥克風監聽環境音:

I write to urge the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to protect federal networks from foreign spies and criminals who misuse online advertising for hacking and surveillance, by setting clear new rules for agencies in its forthcoming “zero trust” cybersecurity policy.

I have pushed successive administrations to respond more appropriately to surveillance threats, including from foreign governments and criminals exploiting online advertisingto hack federal systems. This includes seemingly innocuous online advertisements, which can be used to deliver ‘malware to phones and computers—often without requiring users to click anything. This ‘malware can steal, modify or wipe sensitive government data, or record conversations by remotely enabling a computers built-in microphone.

記得我是從 Firefox 還叫做 Phoenix 的時代就在用 ad blocker 了... 建議大家一定要裝啊,以現在來說應該都是裝 uBlock Origin,在有支援 extension 的瀏覽器都有商店可以直接安裝。