Seth Wisely said

October 31, 2009

simple-adblock.com : best free adblocking choice for IE8 IE7 IE6?? NO, NOT at all! Privacy concerns among other reasons: stay away

Filed under: interweb — Tags: , , , — Seth Wisely @ 08:43

simple-adblock is NOT the adblocking for IE you were looking for (do not install simple-adblock). Sure it does hide ads better than most IE addons, but it is sneaky-ware with less than honorable intentions.

http://simple-adblock.com/

Is this an appropriate IE plugin?  Are you comfortable with it assigning you a unique id (much like chrome) and logging your username and computername?  If major privacy issues are not your concern this might be the adblock plugin for you.

http://threatexpert.com/report.aspx?md5=6c1d150eca6d1a7a5574380a484dc76f ver 079

http://my.simple-adblock.com/user_manager.php?plugin=UNIQUEstring&version=0.7.9&enabled=true&lang=en&ie=6&ielang=en&os1=5&os2=1&pc=COMPUTERNAME&username=UserName&wcount=0&dicv=1&filterv=0&checksum=17461

Two files storing your uniqueness:

%appdata%\Simple Adblock\settings.ini
%Windir%\SimpleAdblock.ini

Plus some phone home issues..  only with uniqueness can these be used

http://my.simple-adblock.com/user_mysettings.php
http://my.simple-adblock.com/user_activate.php

174.136.2.247 is shared (same A record) with some questionable (SEO) domains:

ie-adblock.com
ieadblocker.com
ns2.adaidproject.org

digging a bit deeper

adaidproject.org  [174.136.2.246]
aidonline.com

ad aid?  it seems to store mirrors, albeit old mirrors, of easylist

http://adaidproject.org/filters/ff_filter_1.txt

or are they?

http://adaidproject.org/filters/ff_filter_white.txt

d’oh:

simple-adblock.com  NS  ns2.adaidproject.org

but wait there’s more

stop-aidonline.dk

danish 2 english
“18 September fell cited: Aidonline concept is crystal clear illegal!”

setting aside the evil here are the good points (which do not justify use)

supports the AdBlock Plus format (fully?)

Filter format
In your personal filter file you can add your own filter rules. For the changes to take effect, you need to open a new tab or window (note in IE 6 and IE 7 you need to open a new window)

The filter rules are identical to the format defined by adblockplus, hence you can copy your own filter list created with Adblockplus to this file. The filter format is defined in: http://adblockplus.org/en/filters

has element hiding, too

donationware? or faustianware?

MSDN IE developers thread

some interesting points from IE simple-adblock FAQ

Q: Can I edit my own filters with simple adblock?
Simple Adblock is supposed to be easy for everyone to use. Therefore that is not an option, but we are working on a way to make it easy to edit filters and hide elements.

Until then we have made a temporary workaround: personal filters

yay? no.

the downside of simple-adblock: it appears to generate and log unique user ids for each install.  creepy, yes?  But wait there’s more stop-aidonline.dk

IE adblockers in descending order of awesomeness (ignoring all downsides)

simple-adblock > adblock pro > quero > adblock IE > privoxy > IE8 inprivate > adbrick > proxomitron > ad muncher > hosts

IE8 is extremely far behind firefox in adblocking, annoyance removal, and security widgets.  T

simple-adblock for the low low price of waiving privacy for equally questionable security. simple-adblock is NOT the adblocking for IE you were looking for

This leaves it a tossup for addons between adblock pro (shareware) and quero

Seth Wisely said: simple-adblock has the best potential but has outstanding privacy concerns

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