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    Website-Targeted False Content Injection by Network Operators
    Gabi Nakibly1,3, Jaime Schcolnik2, and Yossi Rubin3

    1 Computer Science Department, Technion, Haifa, Israel
    2Computer Science Department, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya,
    3Rafael â?? Advanced Defense Systems, Haifa, Israel

    Over the last few years there have been numerous reports of ISPs
    that alter or proxy their customersâ?? traffic, including, for
    example, CMA Communications in 2013 [6], Comcast in 2012 [16],
    Mediacom in 2011 [9], WOW! in 2008 [27], and Rogers in 2007 [32].
    Moreover, several extensive studies have brought the details of this
    practice to light [17, 30, 25, 35]. The main motivations of ISPs to
    alter traffic are to facilitate caching, inject advertisements into
    DNS and HTTP error messages, and compress or transcode content.

     All of these reports and studies found that these traffic
    alterations were carried out exclusively by edge ISPs,namely, retail
    ISPs that sell Internet access directly to end customers, and are
    their â??first hopâ?? to the Internet. This finding stems from the
    server-centric approach the above studies have taken. In this
    approach, one or a handful of servers are deployed to deliver
    specific content to users, after which a large number of clients are
    solicited to fetch that content from the servers. Finally, an agent
    on the clients â?? usually a JavaScript delivered by the server itself
    â?? looks for deviations between the content delivered by the server
    and that displayed to the user. Figure 1(a)illustrates the traffic
    monitored in this server-centric approach.

    Such an approach can be used to inspect the traffic of many clients
    from diverse geographies who are served by different edge ISPs. The
    main disadvantage of this approach is that the content fetched by
    the clients is very specific. All clients fetch the same content
    from the same web servers. This allows only the detection of network
    entities that aim to modify all of the Internet traffic1 of a
    predetermined set of users and are generally oblivious to the actual
    content delivered to the user. Such entities indeed tend to be edge
    ISPs that target only the traffic of their customers.

    In this work we show that the above approach misses a substantial
    portion of the on-path entities that modify traffic on the Internet.
    Using extensive observations over a period of several weeks, we
    analyzed petabits of Internet traffic carrying varied content
    delivered by servers having over 1.5 million distinct IP addresses.
    We newly reveal several network operators that modify traffic not
    limited to a specific set of users. Such network operators alter
    Internet traffic on the basis of its content, primarily by the
    website a user visits. The traffic of every Internet user that
    traverses these network operators is susceptible to alteration."


"Through counter-intelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential trouble-makers ... And neutralize them, neutralize them, neutralize them"

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