Measuring Abuse in Web Push Advertising

by   Karthika Subramani, et al.

The rapid growth of online advertising has fueled the growth of ad-blocking software, such as new ad-blocking and privacy-oriented browsers or browser extensions. In response, both ad publishers and ad networks are constantly trying to pursue new strategies to keep up their revenues. To this end, ad networks have started to leverage the Web Push technology enabled by modern web browsers. As web push notifications (WPNs) are relatively new, their role in ad delivery has not been yet studied in depth. Furthermore, it is unclear to what extent WPN ads are being abused for malvertising (i.e., to deliver malicious ads). In this paper, we aim to fill this gap. Specifically, we propose a system called PushAdMiner that is dedicated to (1) automatically registering for and collecting a large number of web-based push notifications from publisher websites, (2) finding WPN-based ads among these notifications, and (3) discovering malicious WPN-based ad campaigns. Using PushAdMiner, we collected and analyzed 21,541 WPN messages by visiting thousands of different websites. Among these, our system identified 572 WPN ad campaigns, for a total of 5,143 WPN-based ads that were pushed by a variety of ad networks. Furthermore, we found that 51 malicious, and that traditional ad-blockers and malicious URL filters are remarkably ineffective against WPN-based malicious ads, leaving a significant abuse vector unchecked.


page 3

page 11


A Longitudinal Analysis of Online Ad-Blocking Blacklists

Websites employ third-party ads and tracking services leveraging cookies...

Who Filters the Filters: Understanding the Growth, Usefulness and Efficiency of Crowdsourced Ad Blocking

Ad and tracking blocking extensions are among the most popular browser e...

Be Daring to Push your Ads Forward: Measuring the (Over)use of Service Workers for Advertising Purposes

Rich offline experience, periodic background sync, push notification fun...

adPerf: Characterizing the Performance of Third-party Ads

Monetizing websites and web apps through online advertising is widesprea...

Block the blocker: Studying the effects of Anti Ad-blocking

Advertisements generate huge chunks of revenues for websites and online ...

A4 : Evading Learning-based Adblockers

Efforts by online ad publishers to circumvent traditional ad blockers to...

Ad-versarial: Defeating Perceptual Ad-Blocking

Perceptual ad-blocking is a novel approach that uses visual cues to dete...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset