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Warning: you should use adblockers: as you use anti virus: to keep you *safe*!

6 emeralds22 replies462 views
created 01/28/2018 1:50 pm by ShelLuser
last reply 02/14/2018 3:34 pm
Hi gang,

I hope we all know what an adblocker is? An adblocker is a browser plugin which blocks several known sources of advertisements so that you can visit a website without having to get bothered by pop-up messages and other annoying stuff which most often only hinders you.

Well known names are Adblock Plus, uBlock, NoScript (not necessarily an adblocker, but it can definitely keep you safe) and Disconnect.

Many websites urge you to turn off the use of adblockers and many people do just that because they consider adblockers to be merely a convenience. Why not turn it off so that the website owner can get something out of those advertisements?

Well: because of incidents such as these, I quote:

"The hijacking of CPU cycles through crypto-mining JavaScript code has surged over the past few days, according to security biz Trend Micro. The reason appears to be a distribution campaign that piggybacks on Google's DoubleClick ads that appear on YouTube among other sites."

In normal English: well known advertisement sources such as Google's have been hijacked ("hacked") and are being abused to infect your PC's with code which basically adds your computer to a larger network used to "mine crypocurrency". Basically your computer is being abused to make money for others. And it all starts through the abuse of advertisements.

This isn't the first time things like these happen. There are numerous of incidents in the past where advertisement sources got hacked and abused to re-distribute virusses and other nasty software. To add insult to injury this even happened on websites which had a "no adblocker" policy. Meaning they'd urge you to turn off your adblocker, but as a direct result your computer would get immediately infected.

An adblocker isn't about convenience: it's about security


Here's the problem: you may trust the people behind the website(s) you're visiting, and you may think you're doing them a favor by turning off your adblocker. But those people have no control over where the advertisements are coming from. You may trust a website, but advertisements aren't part of that and come from completely different unrelated sources. Sources which can easily have been compromised with all the bad results.

As such my warning: If you're not doing it already then seriously consider installing and using an adblocker. In this day and age adblockers should be treated the same as anti virus, for reasons mentioned above.

A website wouldn't tell you to turn off your anti virus, so why would adblockers be treated any different? Well, only because they want to make money. They don't care about your welfare, that's why.

But fact of the matter is that an adblocker has become just as important as anti virus software.

Be warned, and stay safe!

Sincerely, Shell

Poll ended 02/04/2018 1:50 pm.

Posted by avatar
ShelLuser
Level 39 : Artisan Engineer
53

22 replies

2
02/14/2018 3:26 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Engineer
ShelLuser
avatar
First: thanks for all the reactions and attention so far, definitely appreciate it. Trust me: I don't do things like this unless I really deem it important. I prefer to stick to Minecraft on a Minecraft website :)

Now, I'm not going to continue pushing this but... I felt I had to share this (it's also why I'm replying instead of editing my post): some of you commented how this most likely would never affect you, so why did I raise all this ruckus? I may not agree with you but I definitely admit you guys also raised good points.

Trust me: these problems can definitely also affect all of us. That's not just an opinion, I can back this up.

Today I visited the OptiFine website to check for the latest versions (and also to get OptiFine for Minecraft 1.11, which is a long story ;)), but guess what I spotted there?

OptiFine warning


THIS is how close to home these problems actually are.

Please note that I'm not sharing this to point fingers. At best I'm sharing this to point out how honest and transparent the OptiFine website actually is, which gains them a lot of respect from me. Most webmasters would rather swipe news like these under the carpet and continue as if nothing had happened. OptiFine obviously chose not to.

But this is a good example I think that even us Minecraft players aren't immune to problems.

Stay safe out there!
1
02/14/2018 3:34 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Princess
Armscelli
avatar
I'm glad I run an adblocker right now!
3
01/31/2018 3:47 am
Level 50 : Grandmaster Magical Girl
Kassie
avatar
honestly even a usually "clean / safe" website can still sometimes show inappropriate or dodgy ads and it's mainly because the website server hosts have no control over what the advertisers choose to advertise a lot of the time so i feel safer using adblock for that reason as well
4
01/29/2018 6:47 pm
Level 2 : Apprentice Architect
Chaone
avatar
Some adblockers have their own problems. Fake ones can do the same thing that ads do.
3
01/29/2018 4:53 pm
Level 6 : Apprentice Crafter
_ccc_inactive
avatar
The notion of using JavaScript to have the client perform mining for cryptocurrency (I'm assuming that's what 'crypto-mining' refers to) is a perfect example of the problem with JavaScript and the web as a whole. When your only source of cash is misdirection (i.e. advertisement) then those on the back-end see forcing the client to mine using JavaScript in the same light- same result.

This is a dangerous precedent, one where website operators take advantage of ignorance. If you're providing a service, on- or offline, then I expect only that service and not other tacked-on garbage like JS ads or CLIENTSIDE FINANCIAL WORK WHAT THE HELL. If you're struggling to pay for the website, then make it a paid service. If people won't pay for the service, it's time to reevaluate how the web works. That's part of the reason I use the Brave browser.

Provide content honestly.
Ad-blocker++;
1
01/30/2018 12:27 am
Level 11 : Journeyman Modder
noodlegamer76
avatar
not only is adblocker a web app, but if your using Windows 8,10 then you can go to microsoft store and download it for the entire computer (idk if it works with the popups on the corners)
1
01/29/2018 6:29 pm
Level 42 : Master Pixel Puncher
TomConn
avatar
Heh, I always try to make sure that I have at least 2 ad-blockers active.
The only place I don't actually use my ad-blockers (Opera's own, and ABP) is here on PMC because I know it helps this site stay alive and well :D
6
01/28/2018 6:25 pm
Level 24 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
avatar
I use a combination of an adblocker and a firefox plugin called noscript. Noscript, for me, is really the ultimate form of security because it makes me pick and choose which sites and scripts are allowed to run on a page. It allows me to know where data is coming from, and it lets me single out platforms that track. The adblock is unnecessary 95% of the time, but unfortunately, ads are served right alongside the content needed to make youtube run. Noscript breaks pages and lets me go in and fix them, and it's certainly not for everyone. But, it's something to consider if you're paranoid.

I can already see the main counter-argument being "but sites making money!". It's a fair point for a messy issue. Many people still do live on an ad-filled internet, meaning on an individual level, my choice doesn't affect much. When many people start using adblockers, it is the sites/advertisers, not the users, who are obligated to ask themselves - why? Why are people going to great lengths to block ads?

For me, it goes beyond just being annoying. If it was some non-intrusive text and a few pictures, I would be happy to see ads. I would never click on them, but I would not block them entirely. However, in the modern era of browsing, it goes beyond text and pictures. Popups, including ones I've seen on PMC in the past. Huge background banners that fill everything that isn't text with ads. Flashy distracting gifs. Automatically playing videos and audio. Disruptive intrusions every 5 minutes of some videos. Malware.

Processor speed robbing pieces of malware that enter your system and sap on your CPU, from guess what... youtube. Yes, you could get infected by Youtube ads - specifically, doubleclick.net hosted ads, which is owned by Google, which in turn provides a majority of the internet's advertising. Just clicking on sites with an unprotected browser means that nefarious Javascript can run the second you enter a page, which will likely try to force something onto your system the moment you blink. Or, don't move at all, just wait for the .php page to do the malware installation for you.

Ads themselves are literally a risk. The obnoxious flashy nature of ads, the way they try to butt into every corner, and the possibility of infection to disrupt my long record of not having an issue with viruses are my key reasons for despising modern advertising and being on a personal crusade against them.

Nobody is obliged to agree with me on this, I only post it so someone might understand where I'm coming from. Site owners need money, obviously. Advertisers want money. It's a messy situation. It will not be solved until ads clean up their act across the board and are properly restricted so they are a piece of the experience - and not a piece that takes up chunks of my CPU, or murder bandwidth/data rates. I could link plenty of examples where advertising disrupts your computer/network's otherwise smooth processing, but I leave that to people's abilities with Google. Which is ironic, given this post.
1
01/29/2018 5:12 pm
Level 6 : Apprentice Crafter
_ccc_inactive
avatar
I also use Noscript. JavaScript insanity has gone on long enough.
2
01/29/2018 3:56 am
Level 1 : New Miner
l1ght0x00
avatar
AdGuard Premium Lifetime.
1
01/29/2018 5:59 am
Level 22 : Expert Button Pusher
Azrath
avatar
Ew, why use anything other than ABP? I do not trust any other ad blockers.
1
01/30/2018 12:28 am
Level 11 : Journeyman Modder
noodlegamer76
avatar
Ad Block is best, and ABP is second best
1
01/29/2018 8:54 am
Level 24 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
avatar
To be fair, with adblockers period, I always have to wonder what's going on with the backend. Big certainly does not equate to more trustworthy in my book.

Though I can't imagine good coming from something with the words "Premium Lifetime" in the name for blocking ads.
2
01/28/2018 3:40 pm
Level 41 : Master Professor
Acier
avatar
so you would deny money to the sites and creators who rightly deserve it because of something that will likely never affect you
1
01/28/2018 5:06 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Engineer
ShelLuser
avatar
If you read the article on the link I shared you could have seen that this is an issue happening on Youtube, which got confirmed by Google themselves. So your comment is a bit misplaced, the risk is quite high that this will indeed directly affect you if you're not careful.

And yes, I would indeed deny money to them if it negatively affects my computer.

The problem is that you may trust the author of a website, but you'll never know what kind of garbage you're collecting from the advertisement sources on those websites. Malware spreading through advertisements is already a major issue for example.

The way I see it those advertisement agencies only got themselves to blame for this mess by never being satisfied with the coverage they already had.
1
01/28/2018 5:13 pm
Level 41 : Master Professor
Acier
avatar
just dont click on the ads, problem solved
1
01/30/2018 12:28 am
Level 11 : Journeyman Modder
noodlegamer76
avatar
what about ad.fly, when you click skip ad and it opens the link and an ad
1
01/29/2018 6:02 am
Level 22 : Expert Button Pusher
Azrath
avatar
And what about those ads that screamer "WARNING YOU HAVE A VIRUS" completely borking your mouse forcing you to go into task bar to close the tab? Yeah I prefer having a smooth internet surfing experience then see those things. Especially on YouTube. On PMC I have ads enabled since PMC as far as I know is doing its best to filter out those "malware" and "popup scare you to death" ads.
1
01/29/2018 8:36 am
Level 41 : Master Professor
Acier
avatar
Personally that's what I do too
2
01/28/2018 5:23 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Engineer
ShelLuser
avatar
If only it were that simple. If it was some security companies wouldn't be advising users to disable Javascipt support entirely for their browsers.

But alas, no use arguing if one cannot be bothered to fully inform themselves.
1
01/28/2018 5:17 pm
Level 24 : Expert Blacksmith
striker107
avatar
Adblockers block pop-up ads, or the ones you need to click on to remove.
1
01/28/2018 5:54 pm
Level 41 : Master Professor
Acier
avatar
a fair point

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