Brave Browser, a Chromium-based web browser that shares its core with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Vivaldi, will support CNAME-based adblocking in version 1.17 of the browser.
The feature landed in Brave Nightly already and will be integrated in the stable version of the browser in the coming release.
Raymond Hill, maker of the popular content blocker uBlock Origin, introduced support for CNAME-based blocking in the Firefox version one year ago. The developer was the first to introduce such functionality in a browser extension, but could do so only in Firefox as Mozilla's browser was, and is, the only browser that supports DNS API capabilities that make such functionality possible in first place.
The Firefox-version of uBlock Origin is therefore the most effective when it comes to content blocking.
Sites and Internet marketing companies may use CNAME cloaking to avoid detection by content blockers, regardless of whether they are integrated in the browser natively, provided by browser extensions, or through other means such as the HOSTS file or DNS.
CNAME tracking, also called CNAME cloaking, works through redirects by using subdomains of the main domain which are then redirected automatically to a tracking domain. Most content blockers distinguish between first and third party resources, and CNAME tracking uses this to avoid detection.
Broken down, the technique makes a resource look like its first party when in fact it is not.
Most browsers cannot detect or block these, and while there are lists, it is necessary to manage the lists manually unless a browser or extension is used that comes with better protection options.
Next to Firefox with uBlock Origin, it is Brave Browser that stepped in. It is the first Chromium-based browser that introduces support for CNAME-based blocking.
Brave Shields, the browser's content blocking solution, will support CNAME-based content blocking in version 1.17 of the browser. The component will "recursively check the canonical name records for any network request that isn't otherwise blocked using an embedded DNS resolver". The request will then be blocked if it has a CNAME record and if the request would be blocked under the canonical name.
CNAME-based content blocking is enabled by default in Brave 1.17, and it is the first major browser to introduce the functionality as a native solution that is enabled by default.
The company plans to release Brave 1.17 Stable on November 17, 2020 to the public.
Brave is the first browser to provide native on-by-default protection against CNAME-based cloaking techniques. Firefox users who install uBlock Origin are protected as well.
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