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  • Time to remove Nano Adblocker and Defender from non-Firefox browsers

    Posted on Alex5723 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Questions: Browsers and desktop software Other browsers Time to remove Nano Adblocker and Defender from non-Firefox browsers

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      • #2304661 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Time to remove Nano Adblocker and Defender from your browsers (except Firefox)

        When Nano Defender was launched in 2019, it quickly became a go-to extension to bypass anti-adblocking mechanisms on Internet sites. It used code from uBlock Origin, one of the most prominent content blocking extensions, and users started to install the new extension in Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers….

        The developer of the extension revealed on the official GitHub that he decided to sell the extension twelve days ago to two Turkish developers.

        Community members and Raymond Hill, developer of uBlock Origin, shared their thoughts on the deal and the fact that little information was provided. Gorhill suspected that the new owners main intention was to monetize the extension in one form or another, or do worse with it…

        The new owners uploaded a new version to the Chrome store, and careful analysis of the code of the extension revealed that it contained a new connect.js file that did not come from the project’s GitHub page.

        Hill provided an analysis of the code and discovered that the new code allowed the developers to submit user activity and data to remote servers.

        The extension is now designed to lookup specific information from your outgoing network requests according to an externally configurable heuristics and send it to https://def.dev-nano.com/.

        Moderator Edit: edited title to more accurately reflect the article

        • This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Alex5723.
        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2304666 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        The Firefox fork of the extension was not part of the deal, and the maintainer of it expressed interest to rename it and continue maintaining it. All other versions of the extension, basically any for Chromium-based browsers, should be removed immediately.

        https://www.ghacks.net/2020/10/16/time-to-remove-nano-adblocker-and-defender-from-your-browsers-except-firefox/
        Suggest getting your facts right before posting as this topic title is totally unfair to the developer of Nano Adblocker and Defender. /facepalm

      • #2304693 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        totally unfair to the developer of Nano Adblocker and Defender. /facepalm

        Has the developer sent a notice to all Chrome Nano users about sale ?
        Many none-tech don’t visit GitHub, Ghacks, Askwoody..and wouldn’t know about the change and maybe the potential security implications.
        I wouldn’t trust him on any browser.

        • #2305134 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Has the developer sent a notice to all Chrome Nano users about sale ? Many none-tech don’t visit GitHub, Ghacks, Askwoody..and wouldn’t know about the change and maybe the potential security implications. I wouldn’t trust him on any browser.

          No, the dev of the version that was sold didn’t do that, and it was the source of a lot of anger in the message threads listed above. He posted about it to the GitHub forum for the project, but that was all, and as you said, the large majority of users are never going to see that.

          One of the points brought up in the discussion is that since Nano Adblock was/is open source, it would have been possible for the buyers of Nano to simply fork the project, for free, and develop the code exactly as they have. Since they didn’t agree to hire the prior developer to oversee the continued development of the addon by the new owners, the only thing they gained by buying Nano instead of forking it was the trusted name and the number of people who already had it installed, who would get the new version automatically (for better or worse). That raises questions about what the motive of the buyers was, and the most reasonable conclusion would have been that the new owners wished to monetize the addon somehow, and nearly all ways of doing that are malware-ish.

          According to the detractors in the thread, the former owner of the addon should have known that all of this, along with the lack of any presence in the open-source community for the buyers prior to now, was a huge red flag, but he persisted in the sale anyway, and did little to ensure the users were informed.

          The fears about the motives and intent of the new owners of the addon were confirmed when the addon was analyzed, and there was the further red flag that the code in the ready-to-install addon (which consists of a lot of non-compiled code) was not the same as in the source. The only reason to do that is if you are trying to hide something.

          The Firefox version, though, is developed by someone else, as the “regular” Nano Adblocker by the author who made the sale is for Chrome.  The Firefox version is a port of the original and is developed separately from Chrome Nano version. The dev of the Firefox version has said that continued development of the Firefox version will continue, but will no longer be a port of each upstream Chrome release, but an independent, free-standing addon.

          According to the messages in the thread, Nano Adblock added some neat features to uBlock Origin back when uBlock didn’t have those yet, but now it does, and the two are about at feature parity. People want to stick with what they are familiar with and what has been working for them, certainly, but there does not seem to be much loss of features or function by moving upstream (from the Chrome version, to uBlock Origin for Chrome).

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.1 User Edition, Ubuntu 20.04 base).

          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Ascaris. Reason: Remove redundant text
      • #2304801 Reply
        SFB
        AskWoody Lounger

        Boy this stinks for chrome and edge users. Thanks for sharing!

        gorhill_NanoAdblocker

        For those interested you can read more here:

        The firefox port has cut ties but will continue to develop.

        For those using edge, jspenguin2017 has stopped development and you should switch to the normal uBO.

        Another FYI: nikrolls has stopped his port of uBO for edge.

         

         

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        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2305253 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        One of the points brought up in the discussion is that since Nano Adblock was/is open source, it would have been possible for the buyers of Nano to simply fork the project, for free, and develop the code exactly as they have.

        I don’t think that is what Open Source means at all. GNU maybe.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #2305330 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          That is exactly what open source means. You are free to use the source in any way you see fit.

          All the purchasers did was pay for a trusted name.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2305551 Reply
            wavy
            AskWoody Plus

            Well thank you Paul for once again correcting me, this time from a looong held misconception. I am sorry to cloud the waters. Is the a word for code that is available for inspection but not open (which is what I was thinking open meant).

            Learn something new every day,
            and hope I don’t forget it the next..

            🍻

            Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
            • #2305615 Reply
              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              AFAIK all the open source licenses allow you to use the code, but some require attribution and possibly licensing. Wikipedia probably has the lowdown.

              cheers, Paul

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