CV-Inspector: Towards Automating Detection of Adblock Circumvention

The adblocking arms race has escalated over the last few years. An entire new ecosystem of circumvention (CV) services has recently emerged that aims to bypass adblockers by obfuscating site content, making it difficult for adblocking filter lists to distinguish between ads and functional content. In this paper, we investigate recent anti-circumvention efforts by the adblocking community that leverage custom filter lists. In particular, we analyze the anti-circumvention filter list (ACVL), which supports advanced filter rules with enriched syntax and capabilities designed specifically to counter circumvention. To help automate and scale ACVL curation, we develop CV-INSPECTOR, a machine learning approach for automatically detecting adblock circumvention using differential execution analysis.