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Posted on Feb 25, 2021

Online Trackers Increasingly Switching to Invasive CNAME Cloaking Technique
Ravie Lakshmanan©
With browser makers steadily clamping down on third-party tracking, advertising technology companies are increasingly embracing a DNS technique to evade such defenses, thereby posing a threat to web security and privacy.

Called CNAME Cloaking, the practice of blurring the distinction between first-party and third-party cookies not only results in leaking sensitive private information without users' knowledge and consent but also "increases [the] web security threat surface," said a group of researchers Yana Dimova, Gunes Acar, Lukasz Olejnik, Wouter Joosen, and Tom Van Goethem in a new study.

"This tracking scheme takes advantage of a CNAME record on a subdomain...
Rise of Anti-Tracking Measures
Over the past four years, all major browsers, with the notable exception of Google Chrome, have included countermeasures to curb third-party tracking.
Tracking Protection (ITP) in June 2017, setting a new privacy standard on desktop and mobile to reduce cross-site tracking by "further limiting cookies and other website data." Two years later, the iPhone maker outlined a separate plan dubbed "Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution" to make online ads private.
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