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Innovation in Information Security

Coverage of important Information Security and Information Technology news and events from the research team at S?nnet Beskerming.

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Hey, What are Those Ads Doing?

Online advertising is a necessary evil for many company owners seeking to increase the awareness about their services, and a valuable asset to popular website owners, who are able to make extra money from the inclusion of advertising on their site.

Unfortunately, it appears that some Internet Service Providers are inserting advertising content into the sites that their customers are browsing, making it appear that the advertising is coming from the actual site, rather than the ISP. Besides being ethically and morally questionable, the practice has drawn complaints from site maintainers who have complained that the inserted advertising is making their sites non-compliant with web standards and causing the sites to render differently on web browsers.

Depending on how the practice is looked at, it could be illegal under a number of different pieces of legislation in various countries. In the United States it may constitute an unauthorised derived work ($150,000 USD per breach), or it could represent unauthorised reverse engineering and thus prosecutable via the DMCA. It will take

For the curious, the only advertising that you will ever see on will be for services and products offered by S?nnet Beskerming. We don't use pop ups, pop unders, any other form of interstitial advertising, third party text advertising, or third party banner advertising. If you encounter advertisements for other companies and services while on, please let us know at the earliest opportunity by emailing us at

If you are unlucky enough to experience third party advertising while visiting, you should ensure that your system is clean of viruses, malware, spyware, and other nasties, and you should investigate whether your ISP is inserting online advertising into your browsing experience without your permission.

25 June 2007

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