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Host Files


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#1 Airwaves

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 01:32 PM

Hi,

Im just wanting to ask something to do with the host file found in: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc.

I have Spysweeper on my system and when I installed Spybot 2 days ago I got a small pop-up screen in the bottom right-hand corner of the taskbar telling me that the Internet communication Shield has blocked access to various bad sites (which is all good and well) but kept appearing. I phoned up Webroot and asked them about it and they told me about the host file and how to view it. In it it said "Start of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy" with thousands of websites. Webroot told me that I should disable the protection feature in Spybot under "hosts" in the immunization section. I did so and the pop-up disappeared. Today I installed AVG Anti-spyware (only thing installed today) and I have got this pop-up again. I decided to uninstall Spybot as it is still showing in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc.

I uninstalled it and found that the pop-up still appears and even though Spybot was uninstalled it still says: Start of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy under hosts.

I'm just wondering if I am able to delete the host file or the part where it mentions about the list of sites Spybot has blocked to prevent this pop-up from appearing often.

Or is there anything else that I might be able to do apart from uninstall Spsweeper or the Internet Communication shield.

Thank you for reading.

:thumbsup:

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#2 Airwaves

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 08:14 PM

Anyone please? :thumbsup:

#3 tos226

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:33 PM

Quick answer: between Notepad and the delete key you can do the job in about 2 seconds :thumbsup:

Longer answer: Spybot adds their own block list only when you ask for it. If you do not click it, it doesn't merge the list. I like that they do merge, because the MVPS hosts file with the Spybot list just makes things tighter. I also like that Spybot identifies their section and adds only those entries which are not already in the hosts file. Might come handy for a situation such as yours where, for reasons I do not understand at all, the other applications are complaining. Or could those alerts be shut off perhaps in Spysweeper?

I suspect that you would like to start clean. I suspect you never used the hosts file before this incident. if so, here is the text of a default hosts file that comes with Windows. Basically it's empty, just the local host is listed. You can copy this text, save it as "HOSTS" in the same etc directory and you're good to go.

# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host

127.0.0.1 localhost


If Spysweeper watches that crap doesn't get into the hosts file, it could well be that the Spybot watch interferes. I do know that part of AVG checks the hosts file for crap entries of redirection. But since I'm not really familiar with those two, I can't give you more advice. Stick around, the experts will help you :flowers:

Edited by tos226, 20 October 2007 - 09:41 PM.


#4 Airwaves

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:35 AM

Many thanks for your reply tos226
Yes it does look like that (what you had in the "Quote" section and underneath it has thousands of websites that Spybot added.

Could those alerts be shut off perhaps in Spysweeper?


Yes, but that means disabling the "Internet Communications Shield" and I was told by Webroot that this is a critical feature that prevents anyone from accidentally going to a bad site. I was told I could disable it but then it wouldn't protect me, so they said why would you want to disable in-built protection. Because I paid for Spysweeper and not Spybot I chose to uninstall Spybot, it's just that the websites Spybot blocked are still showing. :trumpet:

I do know that part of AVG checks the hosts file for crap entries of redirection.


Maybe this is what might be causing it, if I was to start afresh with a standard Host file. :flowers:

I can't give you more advice. Stick around, the experts will help you


You say your not an expert but you do seem to know a fair bit already and I appreciate your advice. I'll let you know how I get on. :thumbsup:

#5 Airwaves

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:56 AM

Sorry for editing. I asked about saving it as it was a text document but in the ned i saved it as "All Files" and it worked.

Again I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks again tos226 :thumbsup:

Edited by Airwaves, 21 October 2007 - 02:01 AM.


#6 quietman7

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:22 AM

A Hosts file maps an IP address to a name. The original purpose of hosts files was to map the proper address to a site's name but now its also used for blocking purposes. The "blocking effect" of a host file is not in the name being listed there, but rather by associating the name with the wrong IP address which prevents you from reaching that site. The Hosts file is more of a legacy of early IP networks and was never really designed for large-scale blocking of unwanted sites.

SpySweeper has a two step HOSTS file protection which includes notification and prompt to allow/disallow a change to the HOSTS file and a Host File Shield that adds entries to your HOSTS file.

SpySweeper help file:

...Monitors the Hosts file for any changes. Some programs will add or change the IP address for a Web site in the Hosts file. When you try to go to the added or changed Web site, you will really go to a different Web site, such as an advertising site. This shield ensures that programs do not change an IP address without your knowledge...


Users of SpySweeper have reported conflicts with both Spybot S&D and Spywareblaster. See this discussion thread.

Hosts File FAQS
How to Use a Hosts File
Hosts File Tutorial
Blocking Unwanted Sites with a Hosts File
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#7 Airwaves

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 10:07 AM

Quietman,

Nice to see you on here. You was my trainer on Castlecops when I was a Trainee Malware fighter (KillSpyware).

Anyway, thank you very much for the info. It has gone now and hasn't appeared recently. I think that it was to do with the Spybot websites that were under "Hosts".

I'll try and get round to reading about the hosts (links you provided) when I can :thumbsup:

All the best quietman.

:flowers:

#8 Airwaves

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 10:29 AM

I have had Spyware Blaster for a long while now and haven't had any problems with using both Spysweeper and Spyware Blaster. I've had Spysweeper since Late September. It only seemed to go wrong when I had Spybot, which I have now removed along with it's list of sites from the host file. :thumbsup:

#9 quietman7

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:22 PM

Your welcome Airwaves (KillSpyware).

Nice to see you too. :thumbsup:
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