Krux Inspector:  A New Way to Look at the Web

May 02, 2011 - Krux Engineering - 0
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Today we bring you a special blog post from Krux engineering...

AdOps pros industry-wide are using Firefox and Firebug daily to troubleshoot page level problems, investigate first and third party data activity, and sometimes just to learn more about how the internet really works.

AdOps folks are a crafty sort, but they never have the proper tools to diagnose HTTP activity, so they wind up digging deep and consuming a lot of time.  I feel your pain! 

The time and energy required always bothered me, so I decided to do something about it, developing a special Krux-specific Firefox / Firebug add-on called Krux Inspector.  Upon download, Krux Inspector appears as a new tab in Firebug and allows you to go deeper than you ever have before in evaluating and understanding data collection activity on a given page.

What’s different about Krux Inspector is the visualization techniques – all results presented within a hierarchical visual framework anyone can easily navigate, unpacking the relationships between all the players participating in data collection on a given web page.  If you are patient, you can do the same thing with Firefox's Net Tab, by digging through the HTTP transactions and following the trail of who brought in what, but it ends up being a tedious excercise at best. 

With Krux Inspector…

  • Visualize the relationship of data collectors in a tree view, allowing you you to identify the Usher/Collector hierarchy.
  • Easily focus on third party activity, with filter options to include or exclude CSS images and files from your own domain.
  • Navigate complex hierarchies, expanding or collapsing sections within the tree view to easily identify specific Usher/Collector relationships.
  • Explore page-level activity more efficiently, with ‘friendly name’ company identification and intuitive icons indicating the type of data collection and cookie activity that’s occurring.
  • Inspect the details of response headers as well the cookies sent and received, by selecting the company name or the cookie icon.
  • And since no analysis is ever perfect, we’re providing an easy-to-read accuracy gauge, indicating our confidence in specific hierarchy relationships based on the information we were able to gather.
  • With this tool, we hope to enable new levels of insight, analysis, and understanding of the who, what, when, and how of data skimming and theft.

Download the Krux Inspector Firebug add-on to get started.  You can use your existing Krux account, or create a new one during the download process if you don’t already have one. 

It's still not perfect, no software ever is, but I hope it makes things better for you. I use it myself, everyday, and I'd love to hear your ideas on how to make it better.

Leave a comment on this blog post or on our Krux Inspector forum.  I'll be watching, eager for your feedback and ideas.  And remember – also visit our forum to ask questions of us or other users, share feedback and experiences, and find out what others are seeing, doing, and learning. 

Download Krux Inspector and Firebug here


Thanks.  -Nick

Krux Inspector Screenshot

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