Team Seminars

Tracking the Pixels: Detecting Web Trackers via Analyzing Invisible Pixels

Friday, January 18, 2019 at 15:00, Fermat F102, by Imane Fouad (Inria INDES)

Web tracking has been extensively studied over the last decade. To detect tracking, most of the research studies and user tools rely on consumer protection lists. However, there was always a suspicion that lists miss unknown trackers. In this paper, we propose an alternative solution to detect trackers by analyzing behavior of invisible pixels that are perfect suspects for tracking. By crawling 829,349 webpages, we detect that third-party invisible pixels are widely deployed: they are present on more than 83% of domains and constitute 37.22% of all third-party images. We then propose a fine-grained classification of tracking based on the analysis of invisible pixels and use this classification to detect new categories of tracking and uncover new collaborations between domains on the full dataset of 34,952,217 third-party requests. We demonstrate that two blocking strategies — based on EasyList&EasyPrivacy and on Disconnect lists — each miss 22% of the trackers that we detect. Moreover, we find that if we combine both strategies, 238,439 requests (11%) originated from 7,773 domains that still track users on 5,098 websites.

Ahead-of-time (AOT) JavaScript compilation

Friday, October 26, 2018 at 15:00, Fermat F102, by Manuel Serrano (Inria INDES)

Static compilation, a.k.a., ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation, is an alternative approach to JIT compilation that can combine good speed and lightweight memory footprint, and that can accommodate read-only memory constraints that are imposed by some devices and some operating systems. Unfortunately the highly dynamic nature of JavaScript makes it hard to compile statically and all existing AOT compilers have either gave up on good performance or full language support. We have designed and implemented an AOT compiler that aims at satisfying both. It supports full unrestricted ECMAScript 5.1 plus many ECMAScript 2017 features and the majority of benchmarks are within 50% of the performance of one of the fastest JIT compilers.

JAMScript — A Programming Framework for Cloud of Things

Friday, October 5, 2018 at 10:30, Fermat F321, by Jayanth Krishnamurthy (Inria INDES)

Cloud of Things (CoT) is a new computing paradigm that combines the widely popular Cloud computing with Internet of Things (IoT). Programming CoT brings many interesting challenges as clouds and things have varying capabilities and responsibilities. They are expected to play their predetermined roles even in the combined programming model. In a typical deployment, the Cloud is responsible for heavy data processing operations and long-term, huge data storage; while the things are responsible for sensing data and actuating the control signals from the cloud. In this talk, I present the design of a new programming paradigm, `”JAMScript”, that combines the hugely popular C and JavaScript in an unique distributed computing model that can support both parallel and concurrent computations. The objective of JAMScript is to allow the developers to exploit the heterogeneity of CoT while providing support for fault tolerance and low overhead computing. JAMScript simplifies the task of integrating legacy embedded C programs to the cloud with minimal coding efforts. This was a part of my Masters thesis work at School of Computer Science, Mcgill University, Canada.