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Towards Understanding Privacy Implications of Adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs

Towards Understanding Privacy Implications of Adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs Prof. Dr. Norbert Pohlmann - Cyber-Sicherheitsexperten

Towards Understanding Privacy Implications of Adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs Pohlmann

381-Towards-Understanding-Privacy-Implications-of-Adware-and-Potentially-Unwanted-Programs-Prof.-Norbert-Pohlmann

T. Holz, N. Pohlmann, D. Tatang, T. Urban:
„Towards Understanding Privacy Implications of Adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs”.
In Proceedings of the “European Symposium on Research in Computer Security 2018 – ESORICS’18”,
Editors: N. Foley, D. Gollmann, E. Snekkenes,
Springer,
2018

Web advertisements are the primary financial source for manyonline services, but also for cybercriminals. Successful ad campaigns relyon good online profiles of their potential customers. The financial po-tentials of displaying ads have led to the rise of malware that injects orreplaces ads on websites, in particular, so-calledadware. This develop-ment leads to always further optimized and customized advertising. Forthese customization’s, various tracking methods are used. However, onlysparse work has gone into privacy issues emerging from adware.In this paper, we investigate the tracking capabilities and related pri-vacy implications of adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).Therefore, we developed a framework that allows us to analyze any net-work communication of the Firefox browser on the application level tocircumvent encryption like TLS. We use this to dynamically analyze thecommunication streams of over 16,000 adware or potentially unwantedprograms samples that tamper with the users’ browser session. Our re-sults indicate that roughly 37 % of the requests issued by the analyzedsamples contain private information and are accordingly able to trackusers. Additionally, we analyze which tracking techniques and servicesare used.

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