Are ‘Unblockable’ web trackers truly unblockable?

We saw the following article pass by on a reputable technology news website: “Bad news: ‘Unblockable’ web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much. Ad-tech arms race continues: DNS system exploited to silently follow folks around the web” (from The Register)

When we read about this, we immediately looked into whether or not these ‘unblockable’ trackers are indeed al they are cracked up to be: unblockable or not?

We performed a variety of tests and can confirm that IvyDNS blocks these so-called unblockables by default and has been blocking them for a while already. In all honesty, that IvyDNS was able to protect its customers automatically and independently (i.e. without any need for us to teach it about this scheme), was a bit of a surprise to us, but then again, IvyDNS’ Internet Intelligence was designed and created to anticipate these types of bad actors. It did exactly what it was supposed to: learn, adapt, overcome!

Customers using IvyDNS are protected by default from these trackers. And thus, Betteridge’s Law applies to this post.

As an aside: the linked article provides a lot of information and is, mostly, factually correct, after all, The Register is known for quality journalism. However, we think that it is limited in its world-view: it pretends that browsers are the only thing that matter in the world of the Internet.
While it is true that this is how most individuals interact with the Internet, there’s more to the Internet than browsers. In the end, browsers still need to resolve domain names, and that’s where IvyDNS lives: on a deeper, more fundamental, networking level. (And we’ll talk about DoH – DNS-over-HTTP[S] in another blog post.)