AdGuard

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AdGuard
AdGuard.svg
Developer(s)AdGuard Software Limited
Initial releaseJune 1, 2009
Stable release
7.3 / December 22, 2019
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, GNU Linux, OS X, iOS, Android
Platformx64/x86, arm
Available in28 languages
TypeUtility
Browser extension
Server
LicenseOpen source and shareware
Websiteadguard.com

AdGuard is a line of ad blocking[1] and privacy protection[2][3] software which comprises open-source and shareware products that protect Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X, Android and iOS users from unwanted ads, pop-ups, banners, as well as from tracking, obscene content, malware and phishing. A cross-platform utility, AdGuard is also available as an extension for the most widely used browsers, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Yandex Browser, and Microsoft Edge.[4] Over 5 million people are reported to be using the software in 2018.[5]

AdGuard Software Limited was founded in 2009.[6] As of 2017 the headquarter was moved to Cyprus while most developers are still located in Moscow.[7]

Products[edit]

While the company's products have earned positive feedback in several industry publications,[8][9][10] a series of policies by Google and Apple app stores occurred in 2014 - 2018, which impeded user access to AdGuard's mobile applications.

AdGuard's products include browser extensions and server-side software, including:

  1. AdGuard Home: The product intercepts and filters DNS requests.[11] It works as a DNS server [12] [13] and prevents all the devices in a home network from connecting to the servers that track user browsing.
  2. AdGuard Browser extension: The extension blocks video ads, interstitial ads, floating ads, pop-ups, banners, and text ads.[14] There is a possibility to handle anti-AdBlock scripts.[15] The product also blocks spyware and warns users of malicious websites.
  3. AdGuard: for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS
  4. AdGuard Content Blocker
  5. AdGuard DNS: A free service from AdGuard that provides an easy way to block ads, online trackers, and analytical systems on a DNS level. The product offers DNSCrypt, DNS over HTTPS, and DNS over TLS variants for encrypting all DNS requests and avoiding interception and/or alteration through DNS spoofing or other methods. AdGuard DNS also offers an optional Family Protection mode for blocking access to websites with adult content as well as enforcing safe search in search engines.[16] Whenever a device with AdGuard DNS servers setup sends an ad request, the DNS server responds with an empty response. This prevents the request from ever reaching the ad servers.[17]

Research[edit]

AdGuard developers have taken up non-commercial research in order to inform wider audiences on user privacy, cybersecurity and data protection. The following issues are notable cases involving the developers:

Incidents[edit]

  • Distribution of AdGuard for Android was discontinued by Google Play at the end of 2014. It nevertheless is still being updated and has been made available for download from the developers’ own website.[29]
  • AdGuard for iOS has not been updated since the summer of 2018 due to Apple policies against ad blocking, though it was still present in the Apple App Store.[30][31][32]. In summer 2019, access to the updates of AdGuard's earlier edition for iOS was restored.[33]
  • The company itself became subject to an attempted Computer cracker attack in September 2018, causing passwords to be leaked. [34][35][36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Craig E. Wills, Doruk C. Uzunoglu "What Ad Blockers Are (and Are Not) Doing", 2016 Fourth IEEE Workshop on Hot Topics in Web Systems and Technologies (HotWeb), IEEE.org, December 19, 2016
  2. ^ Nikolaos Tsalis, Alexios Mylonas, Dimitris Gritzalis "An Intensive Analysis of Security and Privacy Browser Add-Ons", Risks and Security of Internet and Systems. CRiSIS 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9572. Springer, Cham, April 2, 2016
  3. ^ Sanchez-Rola I., Santos I."Knockin’ on Trackers’ Door: Large-Scale Automatic Analysis of Web Tracking", Detection of Intrusions and Malware, and Vulnerability Assessment. DIMVA 2018. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10885. Springer, Cham, June 8, 2018
  4. ^ Andrew Orr "AdGuard Pro is Being Discontinued due to App Store Policy", MacObserver.com, July 23, 2018
  5. ^ Sharmila Nair "AdGuard attacked, resets passwords of all accounts", The Star Online, September 21, 2018
  6. ^ https://adguard.com/de/contacts.html
  7. ^ https://forum.adguard.com/index.php?threads/adguard-cyprus-didnt-expect-this.26749/#post-159155
  8. ^ Jerry Hildenbrand "Best Chrome extensions to protect your online privacy and security", Androidcentral.com, April 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Pedro Castro "AdGuard 6.4 Controls intrusive ads and keeps your browsing history secure", Software.informer.com, October 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Lewis Painter "Best ad blocker for iPhone and iPad", MacWorld, October 23, 2017
  11. ^ Chris Burns "AdGuard Home is an ad-and-tracker blocker for your home", SlashGear.com, October 17, 2018
  12. ^ Martin Brinkmann "A look at AdGuard DNS", Ghacks.net, December 31, 2018
  13. ^ Corvin Davenport "AdGuard officially releases its own DNS service, and it works with Android Pie", Androidpolice.com, December 29, 2018
  14. ^ Eric Griffith "The 18 Best Firefox Quantum Extensions", PC Magazine, February 12, 2018
  15. ^ James A. Martin "The best Google Chrome extensions", Computerworld, August 10, 2017
  16. ^ "How to set up AdGuard DNS". adguard.com. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "Overview | AdGuard Knowledgebase". kb.adguard.com. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Matthew Hughes "Facebook tracking is present in 41% of the most popular Android apps", Thenextweb.com, March 23, 2018
  19. ^ Nadeem Sarwar "Is #DeleteFacebook Enough? Here’s the Harsh Truth About Facebook Tracking Through Apps", Beebom.com, March 27, 2018
  20. ^ Cal Jeffrey "AdGuard reports that 20 million Chrome users have malware infected ad blockers" Archived June 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Techspotl.com, April 19, 2018.
  21. ^ Harry Domanski "Google has kicked five malicious ad blockers off the Chrome Store", Techradar.com, April 19, 2018.
  22. ^ Rei Padla "GO Keyboard apps sends users’ data to servers and third parties, AdGuard says", AndroidCommunity.com, September 23, 2017
  23. ^ Adarsh Verma "11 Million Android, iOS, Chrome, And Firefox Users Infected By Spyware: Delete These Apps Now", Fossbytes.com, July 26, 2018
  24. ^ Wagas Amir "Popular Android/iOS apps & Extensions collecting highly personal user data",Hackread.com, July 26, 2018
  25. ^ Catalin Cimpanu "Chrome Extensions, Android and iOS Apps Caught Collecting Browsing Data" Archived August 19, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, BleepeingComputer.com, July 25, 2018
  26. ^ Michael Kan "Why Hackers Love Cryptocurrency Miner Coinhive",UK.PCMag, November 29, 2017
  27. ^ Anthony Cuthbertson "Over 500 Million PCs Are Secretely Mining Cryptocurrency, Researchers Reveal", Newsweek, October 13, 2017
  28. ^ Charlie Osborne "500 million PCs are being used for stealth cryptocurrency mining online", Zero Day, October 13, 2017
  29. ^ Daria Magdik "Google Removes Adguard App From Google Play", AdGuard News, November 25, 2014
  30. ^ Andrew Orr "AdGuard Pro is Being Discontinued due to App Store Policy", Macobserver.com, July 23, 2018
  31. ^ Andrew Orr "Apple Won’t Say Why It Blocked AdGuard and Freedom", Macobserver.com, September 20, 2018
  32. ^ Abhishek Raj "How to block ads on iPhone and iPad with AdGuard", Budding Geek, June 5, 2019
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ Zack Whittaker "AdGuard resets all user passwords after account hacks", Techсrunch.com, September 20, 2018
  35. ^ Catalin Cimpanu "AdGuard resets all user passwords after credential stuffing attack", ZeroDay, September 21, 2018
  36. ^ Tom McNamara "All AdGuard ad blocker account passwords have been reset to fight off hackers", CNET, September 21, 2018

External links[edit]