Is there a hosts utility...?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Checkout, Jun 3, 2002.

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  1. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Does anyone if know there's a utility which would, say, sit on the browser tools bar, so that I could just click to add a site to the HOSTS file?  It would be very convenient to add this board (for instance) to avoid unnecessary DNS lookups, which very frequently need to be retried.

    MTIA.
     
  2. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi Checkout,

    This is not exactly what you asked for, but it is a very nice program to use for making changes in the HOSTS file: Hostess

    http://accs-net.com/hostess/

    (but it doesn't sit in your browser toolbar, which you were asking for).

    BTW: (I guess you knew that already):
    there is a difference between using HOSTS for blocking sites (you start the line with 127.0.0.1) and for the purpose you were asking for (you start the line with the IP-number).
    There is not any problem for using HOSTS for both purposes.

    I really like Hostess !
     
  3. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

  4. root

    root Registered Member

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    Hey Checkout, Outpost Firewall has a DNS Cache that accomplishes just what you want to do.  :D :D :D :D :D
     
  5. UNICRON

    UNICRON Technical Expert

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    Every time I read the title to this thread I see:

    "Is there hostility?"

    Towards checky? you bet! lol jk checky ;)
     
  6. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    N prblm, Ucrn!
     
  7. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Let me pose the problem differently:

    I don't my trust ISP.  I know that all banks have Government s/w installed which monitors all customers' transactions.  I don't trust any of my ISPs.  Paranoid as I am, I believe they're cheap ways (for marketers and so-called intelligence agencies) of profiling users (by surveillance on users' DNS lookups and sniffing).

    I want a utility which will send DNS lookup requests to a third-party DNS server and store the resultant static IP in my HOSTS file, completely blinding my ISP.

    Too much to ask for?
     
  8. root

    root Registered Member

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    I see what you are trying to do, but I don't see how that will improve your anonymity or security any. All the DNS is, is an address supplier.
    I share some of your concern, but soon, the Govt is going to be so deep in our pants there is going to be nothing we can do to hide anything. I see it coming.
    As long as you have to be visible on the net, so that replies can be routed to you, you can be traced.
    Anyway, good luck in your quest. I'm interested in what you might come up with.
     
  9. MickeyTheMan

    MickeyTheMan Security Expert

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    Fastnet99 will do what you want
    FastNet99 is a network utility that will speed up your web browser every time you want to connect to a web site on the Internet, by avoiding time consuming DNS lookups. It provides all the tools you need to help diagnose network problems and get information about users, hosts and networks on the Internet or on your Intranet. It combines DNS Lookup, Ping, TraceRoute, WhoIs, Finger, Time Synchronizer, KeepAlive and more...
    http://www.geocities.com/gcriaco/
     
  10. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Mickey, as ever, you're an absolute gem.  Thank you.
     
  11. UNICRON

    UNICRON Technical Expert

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    your ISP will still log every address you go to.
     
  12. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Not when I'm using JAP or IDzap...
     
  13. root

    root Registered Member

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    Hmmm? I wonder?
    I have seen this discussed on several different boards and have never seen a definite answer. Is it possible to hide your surfing from your ISP, if he really wants to know?
    I know one website owner that says he can find anybodys real IP if he needs to. It just takes longer. Also, stop and think about the situation where the FBI is involved in tracking down badguys. One of the things they obtain is ISPs logs. If they don't tell them something, why ask for them?
    Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  14. Prince_Serendip

    Prince_Serendip Registered Member

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    I don't know if I can help here, but what the hey. My ISP put a program on my computer with their setup disk which pings them whenever I double click for my Internet connection. However, my firewall blocked it and still does. I have ZoneAlarm. So, am I invisible? They keep sending me probes, but ZoneAlarm blocks those too! (They've been okay about it. I always pay my bill on time.)
     
  15. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    Prince_Serendip - To put it simply - no, you are not invisible to your ISP. You're still sending and receiving traffic thru their server, and there's a record of that.

    Whether they know where your information is being sent, or where it's coming back from, or the content of the information in either direction depends on exactly what you have or have not done to hide that - and only so much can be done in those areas (and at the price of slowed-down communication, generally). Pete
     
  16. Prince_Serendip

    Prince_Serendip Registered Member

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    I kind of thought that was the case, but one can always hope. "Oh, Great Divinities, please hide my equipment from evil isp's." Something like that. (Note: if you see extra postings by me in the next few days it's 'cause "Ah hab a code, aw stubbed up an Ahm ob werg.") Thanks Pete!
     
  17. UNICRON

    UNICRON Technical Expert

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    every single bit of data you get has to pass through your isp's router. Nothing is hidable from them if they want it.
     
  18. MickeyTheMan

    MickeyTheMan Security Expert

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    Your ISP ?  No they don't.  Those that do get sued !
     
  19. UNICRON

    UNICRON Technical Expert

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    How else does the FBI trace a mellisa virus writer back to malaysia?

    not with magic.
     
  20. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Note this application form for a free Hotmail account:

    Name A.Virus.Writer
    Location Malaysia
    Notable Viruses Written Melissa
    Status:  Application Approved
     
  21. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Erm..

    Was surfing around looking for a simple program (cuz I'm *that* lazy), that would give me a mappable lock/unlock option for my hosts file (lock = readonly, unlock = read/write) when I came across this thread and thought I'd add my 2 cents.

    1. No you cannot hide your surfing from your ISP, doesn't matter what software you use.

    2. Yes your ISP can and probably does log *some* of its customers activity, BUT...

    In a big ISP (i.e. Bell Sympatico here in Toronto, Canada), for them to keep logs for every single customer would be a waste of resources, and even then, unless they had a specific reason to keep them, even if they do log, they don't keep them long.

    That's one of the big issues at the moment in the news, gov agencies trying to make ISP's accountable for their customers activities (spreading viruses, porn, illegal material, etc), but since there is no law that says isp's must keep logs, no law that governs how long logs must be kept or how far back they must go...they don't bother. Besides, imagine the cost involved if they isp had to go to court for every single customer that ever committed a crime using them.

    Think about it from the ISP's point of view :

    Customer does something fraudulent on his computer, gov gets suspicious, police get involved, they contact the ISP. What would be better for the ISP? Provide all logs available (assuming in this case they actually had some), and risk bad publicity (very bad, who wants to go to an ISP that bends over backwards the instant any gov agency knocks on their door?), or, deny any logs exist...end of story. The ISP can at that point monitor the customer themselves, and determine whether or not legal action is necessary (and if there is just cause, THEY can report it to the authorities, AND get GOOD publicity for being the good guys and reporting the crook).

    It has happened exactly like this, more than once.

    About the only way I can think of that you could actually hide your activity from your isp would be to encrypt every single packet that went in and out of your computer...impossible unless you restricted yourself to very little online activity (irc, email, etc, programs that can actually support encrypted connections).
     
  22. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    One word....snitches.
     
  23. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Could write a small vb program to do it...

    Unlock hosts - dns lookup - parse add resultant ip to hosts - lock hosts.

    I'm thinking it'd be that simple...OR...

    Find a site that regularly posts a reliable hosts file and update it occasionally.

    Personally I use the one off B.I.S.S., also home of a program called Protowall which blocks a buttload of baddies at the driver level (everything from adtrackers to malware sites etc).

    Check this site out for more info : http://www.bluetack.co.uk/phpn2/index1.php

    And no, I neither work or am affiliated with them, I just use their sofware :p

    Another program of interest : AdAware is okay, but if you want extra strength protection, try Spybot Search & Destroy. New version even includes a small module that sits in your taskbar and watches for malware programs that try to invisibly install themselves. It also recommends another program called Spyware Blaster which covers you for errant java garbage as well.

    http://www.safer-networking.org

    Best of all, both these programs are totally free, donations are always welcome though.

    Again, no affiliations.

    Hope this info is useful.
     
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