Good work mhf. Funnily enough I found one in this forum some time ago...
(select all and the 1 pixel transparent gif becomes visible)
Earlier this year I went wild collecting tools and info while manually finding and blocking this kind of thing with my hosts
file (rather than just plug in a ready made
one). Investigating pages for myself allowed me to see the most numerous and worst offenders and to understand just how amazingly common and sneaky these tracking systems are. It's an interesting study.
Most commercial sites have multiple
I believe a complete web bug killing solution will only be possible with a third party program or K-Meleon extension of some kind (things like Proxomitron, Privoxy, AdblockPlus, Ghostery), due to the need for extensive domain databases and code sniffing tricks. I haven't yet investigated any of KM's own ad blocking and stylesheet capabilities but there might be some css injection trick to block the download
of all 1x1 pixel images (which might also lead to occasional page alignment problems)
Any image or content loaded from a third party server could be considered a bug or beacon, with images setting cookies and remote scripts doing who knows what. I've personally blocked access to every single scrap of facebook content (buttons, widgets, scripts, etc.) because I resented the fact I was being connected to their servers on just about every page I visited out there. I've even taken the time to block the hosts of every
social media widget and beacon I see (I'm anti-social, eh), and if I ever need to see one of those sites I just use a web based proxy
to have a peek.
It turns out that a handful of tracking companies operating Web bugs have an incredible breadth of coverage, the researchers said. For example, five tracking companies were represented on more than half of the top 100 Web sites examined in the study, while Web bugs from Google and its subsidiaries were found on 92 of the top 100 Web sites and 88 percent of the approximately 400,000 unique domains examined in the study. "Web bugs are ubiquitous," said Soltani. During the month of March 2009, the researchers found at least one Web bug on each of the top 50 Web sites, while most sites had several Web bugs and some had as many as 100.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/28/2010 12:23PM by Doon.