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use host file, firewall, adblock or nothing?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 alagrange

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 06:02 AM

Windows 8.1
Chrome
Some sites recommend to enter in the host file a redirection of malicious site, for intance so that instead of going to 007guard.com your pc goes to your own IP.

Is it a good idea to compy in the pc's host file the entries of spybot's "inmunise file"?
Better to use the Mcafee firewall, how?
Or just rely on adblockplus and the local DNS?

What is the best strategy?

Thanks,

Edit: Moved topic from Windows 8 to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 hyardbird

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:33 PM

Sort of on the same topic- I want to add a few sites of my own to HOSTS and direct to myself but Windows 8.1 only gives write permissions in the HOSTS directory to "trusted installer" and the normal method of changing permissions does not seem to work.  Any thoughts out there?



#3 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:16 AM

@ alagrange
Why not use Windows built-in Firewall?

mvps.org is no longer recommending Spybot S&D (or Ad-Aware) due to poor testing results. See here - (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products). There are other alternatives to Spybot's Hosts file immunization.


@ hyardbird

I don't have access to Windows 8 but this is information from MVPS.org in regards to working with Windows 8.

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File

Windows 8 requires special instructions.

Before you can install a custom HOSTS file in Win8, you will need to make a change in Windows Defender ... otherwise Defender will automatically remove your custom file and replace it with the default from Microsoft..."This issue occurs because Windows Defender may determine incorrectly that the Hosts file was changed by malware"

Updating the HOSTS file in Windows 8
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#4 hyardbird

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:54 AM

Thanks janitor, but the problem is that win8 won't allow modification or replacement of the hosts file and the only user who has full access to that directory is "trusted installer".  All others, including System, have limited rights.  Another example of microsoft protecting us from ourselves perhaps.  But I find it intolerable that I cannot manipulate files on my own machine.



#5 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:32 PM

Perhaps one of our Windows 8 Experts may be able to provide some insight.


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#6 hyardbird

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 11:22 AM

This problem I'm having may be peculiar to this machine.  Everything I am finding regarding editing of the hosts file still lists its path as /windows/system32/drivers/etc  - but that is not where mine is anymore.  It is at  C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-w..ucture-other-minwin_31bf3856ad364e35_6.3.9600.16384_none_25fdfd813908f8a6.  A full search of the system shows no other copy of hosts anywhere on the machine.  I am also running Kaspersky Internet Security 14.0.0.4651"(b)" which automagically disables Windows defender.

I am not sure if this is due to the fact that I am running the 64bit version of 8.1.  If anyone out there can give me a clue I would be very grateful.


Edited by hyardbird, 02 November 2013 - 11:23 AM.


#7 SteveOC

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:03 PM

I have never used 64-bit or 8.1 but since nobody else has responded............

 

Firstly, I don't think that you should be accessing the contents of WINSXS asI believe that this is what is known as the Windows side-by-side directory.

 

As to your problem, it sounds more like a 64-bit redirection issue than perhaps something specific to Windows 8.1?

 

This link contains the most info I could find in one place and the 'problem' I believe dates back to Vista 64-BIt :

 

http://www.sepago.de/d/helge/2009/06/04/where-is-the-hosts-file-on-windows-x64

 

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#8 slgrieb

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 02:31 PM

The location of the Hosts file hasn't changed in Windows 8.1; it is still in the same location as previous versions of Windows. You need to go to Folder Options in the Control Panel, and use the View tab to select Show hidden files and folders to see it. If you want to edit the file, you can do it by opening Notepad with the Run as Administrator option, and then setting Notepad to look for all files instead of *.txt. Having said all that, trying to use the Hosts file to block malware these days is pointless, hopeless, and it doesn't work well.

 

The approach was OK back in the Dark Ages when there wasn't really all that much malware around, but today, around half of all malware (figures vary depending on your source) is hosted on legitimate sites that have been hacked. There are certainly still some persistent sites that host malware, but often malware hosts are very short lived, and are changed as frequently as once per hour. It isn't possible to keep on top of a significant percentage of current threats by means of a Hosts file.

 

I like MBAM Pro for it's excellent site blocking. Likewise I recommend NOD32 and Google's Chrome browser for their site blocking.


Edited by slgrieb, 10 November 2013 - 02:46 PM.

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#9 SteveOC

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 02:54 PM

The location of the Hosts file hasn't changed in Windows 8.1; it is still in the same location as previous versions of Windows. You need to go to Folder Options in the Control Panel, and use the View tab to select Show hidden files and folders to see it. If you want to edit the file, you can do it by opening Notepad with the Run as Administrator option, and then setting Notepad to look for all files instead of *.txt.

 

Sounds about right for 32-bit, but does that hold true for 64-bit which the OP is running, as all I have read suggests it won't work due to redirection preventing browsing to the ETC subdirectory via Explorer?

 

Steve O,



#10 slgrieb

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

 

The location of the Hosts file hasn't changed in Windows 8.1; it is still in the same location as previous versions of Windows. You need to go to Folder Options in the Control Panel, and use the View tab to select Show hidden files and folders to see it. If you want to edit the file, you can do it by opening Notepad with the Run as Administrator option, and then setting Notepad to look for all files instead of *.txt.

 

Sounds about right for 32-bit, but does that hold true for 64-bit which the OP is running, as all I have read suggests it won't work due to redirection preventing browsing to the ETC subdirectory via Explorer?

 

Steve O,

 

64 or 32 bit versions are the same. Win8 might almost be called Windows 7.5 in most ways. Once you get past The Interface Formerly Known as Metro, most of the underpinnings in Win8 are the old familiar stuff that's been in Windows since about Windows 2000. The Command Prompt includes everything from previous versions, and it all works the same, Administrative Tools are somewhat expanded, but still contain most of the legacy stuff, etc.


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WIFFLEBALL!

 


#11 hyardbird

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:27 AM

Thanks for the responses.  Since I already had the folder options set to show hidden files the inability to locate hosts where I thought it should be was making me nuts.  I think the reference to the redirection issue for x64 has pointed me to the right place.



#12 quietman7

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:15 AM

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community.
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