USS Clueless -- Steve's ad-block firewall list

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Steve's ad-block firewall list

[Note: 20011015 I recently gave up on Norton Internet Security and switched to using ZoneAlarm Pro and AdSubtract Pro. I will soon rewrite this. I am extremely pleased with them and I no longer recommend using NIS.]

[Note: 20030318 ZoneAlarm Pro ended up being responsible for all the annoying blue screens I was getting in WinXP. Once I got rid of it, my system became a lot more reliable. I have changed tools again, and now I recommend using The Proxomitron.]

This will get updated periodically. I've constructed this list by occasionally looking at the logs from my firewall as I browse, and noticing spurious (from my point of view) requests to irrelevant (from my point of view) sites during the loading of pages from sites I visit.

site comment IP or IP range
Avenue A
some CNet ads
Doubleclick 1
Doubleclick 2
Doubleclick 3
Doubleclick 4
Doubleclick 5
Doubleclick 6
Doubleclick 7
Doubleclick 8
Doubleclick 9
Doubleclick UK
Link Exchange
NEW 20010402
something, I'm not sure what
Excite's ad server
NEW 20010404  
doubleclick 10
doubleclick 11
doubleclick 12
Avenue A
doubleclick 1 204-253.104.*
doubleclick 2 205.138.3.*
doubleclick 3 208.10.202.*
doubleclick 4 63.160.54.*
doubleclick 5 63.166.98.*
doubleclick 6 208.228.86.*
doubleclick 7 208.32.211.*
doubleclick 8 63.251.188.*
doubleclick 9 63.168.198.*
doubleclick UK 213.86.246.* 216.240.130.*
flycast 216.52.4.*
Link Exchange 204.71.191.*
something or othe
Excite's ad server
doubleclick 10 208.184.29.*
doubleclick 11
doubleclick 12

This doesn't by any means stop everything, but this does stop a lot, including some of the most obnoxious advertising. More important, it stops requests from going to some of the most egregious companies involved in tracking your web browsing. If they get no request from you (because it is blocked in your firewall) then they can't see where you've been.

If your firewall uses a hierarchical rule system, where the order in which rules appears indicates precedence (which is the case for Norton Internet Security, for instance) then if you have specific rules enabling your web browser (which is the case in NIS) then these rules must be placed above that. Otherwise, the firewall will encounter the rule permitting your browser to use HTML before it encounters one of these block-rules and the block rule won't have any effect.


In addition, Norton Internet Security (the package I use) permits creation of direct ad-blocking rules, on a per-site basis. Below are a few of the ones I've set up:

site block strings .swf .swf bg.gif
newtopgif2.jpg ygielib webvan
yahoo_domain yahoo_domain .swf popupads

Blocking ".swf" for a site prevents that site from displaying Flash files, which these sites are using for particularly obtrusive and obnoxious advertising. The file has to end in the string ".swf" because that's how the browser recognizes that it needs to invoke the Flash plug-in to run it. So if you block ".swf" then it means that site can't ever play a Flash file. Since the block is site-specific this has no effect on the ability of any other site, who are not abusing it, to use Flash.

The weird text I'm blocking for Geocities prevents that strange little pull-down window from appearing in the upper right corner of Geocities-hosted web sites. (The string may be different for Navigator, which I don't use. I think that the "ie" in the middle means Internet Explorer.)

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