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Author Topic: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file  (Read 4406 times)

Carol Haynes

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Don't know if this has been mentioned before but there are a couple of interesting articles here on how to stop your computer communicating with common ad based servers and known malware sites.

The first is on the MVPS website (see http://www.mvps.org/...inhelp2002/hosts.htm) whcih provides a lot of information, a regularly updated HOSTS file and a secure email subscription to be notified of updates.

On that page a little free utility is also mentions called HostsManager (Hostsman) which can be found here: http://hostsman.abelhadigital.com/ which allows you to manage the content of your hosts file and also mange the DNS Server client on your computer.

Well worth a read ... and very effective if kept up to date.

mrainey

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Re: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2005, 03:31:28 PM »
Thanks for those links.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2005, 04:10:58 PM »
Your're welcome.

The four little programs linked on the main page are all useful (in different ways).
HOSTS secure has the advantage that it will download and install the latest version of HOSTS from the MVPS website. The disadvantage is that it loses any custom edits.

A better way of doing this is to save your custom edits in a text file, then use HOSTS Secure to update the HOSTS file every now and again, and then use "Hoster" to merge in your custom edits.

rrtwister

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Re: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2005, 06:59:26 PM »
I have been using Hosts Toggle for some time. It is a little bit of an older program, but works great for me. It can be found at http://accs-net.com/hosts/HostsToggle/
I have an excellent memory.....now what was I saying ???

brotherS

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Re: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2005, 03:06:08 AM »
Hi Carol!

I used to update my HOSTS file regularly but didn't like to update it manually regularly. Is there any solution out there that allows me to fully automate the updating process?

I'd like to put it in my Autostart folder and forget about it then :)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2005, 03:30:26 AM »
HOSTS Secure (dowloaded here) will update your HOSTS file on Windows startup, or you could schedule the update.

The options commands allow you to run the program on startup, and auto update the HOSTS file.

From my perspective that isn't ideal as I have a number of customised entries in my HOSTS file and the update process overwrites the whole file. I run Firetrust's Benign software to filter email content but since SP2  for WinXP was released I have needed to have a number of personal settings in the HOSTS file to get Benign to work properly. I suppose I could get around this by writing a little script to append my personalised settings to the HOSTS file after update.

If you haven't got personalised HOSTS file then the autoupdate is ideal.

brotherS

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Re: Useful tools for blocking known malware sites via your HOSTS file
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2005, 03:40:17 AM »
A HOSTS tool I tested once would leave those customized entries alone, it would just add and delete entries in its own 'section' in the HOSTS file.

Hmm, it seems that someone should code a program that would have auto-updates AND customized-entries-protection :)