Tracking cookies and the hosts file

Discussion in 'other anti-malware software' started by John Dalton, Sep 9, 2008.

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  1. John Dalton

    John Dalton Registered Member

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    For ages I've patiently put up with regularly deleting tracking cookies found by Ad-Aware, SuperAntiSpware etc and then seeing them come bouncing back. Anyway, I've decided that enough is enough and have started putting the names in the hosts file, pointing to the local address 127.0.0.1. Are there likely to be any problems, for example, sites using them not working properly?
     
  2. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    One easy way, is use Javacool Software's Spyware Blaster.
    It automatically adds a great collection of sites/hosts in the blacklist. And also adds many more sites which add tracking cookies in the banned lists of IE & FF.
     
  3. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    also you cuold manage winpatrol to eat cookies and drink cofee
     
  4. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    Solution I found easiest and best suited for my browsing was running browser sandboxed (SandboxIE here).
    Exit browser and everything is gone.

    re: Adding entries to the Hosts file.
    Others have done the work for you with listing undesireable hosts / host names.
    Cut and paste into your Hosts file:
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt
     
  5. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    with mvps host file
     
  6. dw2108

    dw2108 Registered Member

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    When you get a hacker intrusion, and your FW identifies the domain, copy that to your hosts file.
     
  7. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    good idea:thumb:
     
  8. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    I've been using the hosts apporach and most of the time it wont have any problems. The only issue is that sometimes when you click a link and the site you are coming from is part of an add network, it will redirect you to cookie planting site in the advertising network. If that site is on your hosts list, the redirect will not work properly.

    One solution is to use Hostsman. It allows you to turn 'on and off' your hosts file. It also updates your hosts files regularily and integreate hosts files from different sources. It also has a small http server that can be customised text or graphics for every blocked element.

    Another solution is to just use some other AV products that clean these up in real time. I know that Norton and AVG does it. You can also consider buying SAS which will also clear up tracking cookies.

    You can also use a cookie manager extension in Firefox called CS Lite to deny cookies by default and only allow them for sites you know are good.
     
  9. Espresso

    Espresso Registered Member

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    Why don't you block all cookies and just allow them for sites you need? You can still allow session cookies and if something doesn't work, just click the cookie icon in the status bar and allow it.
     
  10. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I personally used to want to use a netblock approach for my hosts file. Instead of just blocking one name, such as bad.cookies.com, I would want to block all ip's that the company may hold, which may be 1 or 100 or 1000. This way when I found a company that was offensive, I could block ANY website address instead of just one.

    Sadly, windows has no way of approaching this. That is why the hosts file gets so large.

    You can however use a firewall to do it. Some firewalls like Outpost with it's Blockpost plugin have the capability to block entire netblocks of ip's. There was a tool I used to use to collect them, but I don't remember anymore what it was.

    I made a tool long ago that let me put in something like adserver.com, and it returned all pertinent ip addresses associated with that, then I made entries into the route table and pointed them to a non-existent node on my lan. Worked well I suppose.

    I would suggest perhaps something very easy as I do now, just tell your browser to delete cookies on entrance or exit. Seems to work well with Opera or Kmeleon.

    Sul.
     
  11. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    Using the host file has a down side, and that is all the sites that you add to it you cannot visit.

    Seriously the easiest way is to use something like the firefox add on called "cookie safe" and "BLOCK All" cookies except the for the websites you need to log into. you only need cookies for websites that you have accounts with to log into.
     
  12. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Not trying to be a prick but do you guys read the posts in a thread before posting?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  13. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    we have to swim in the flaw or otherwise the forum is boring and death:D
     
  14. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    In all my years of surfing and especially now that HIPS are here, i can't honestly say the host file is ever been or ever will be bothered by forced hijacking.

    I lock my hosts file down period and can surf the most notorious of forceful exploits that normally might hijack the hosts file or the Internet Zones section.

    It's like i have no hosts file even visible for something malicious to even get too. And i use no custom hosts file or Javacools Spyware Blaster and never find anything.

    EASTER
     
  15. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    Easter, what was that about ?
    The original post was for a way to stop cookies. And the author wanted to do it manually add hosts redirected to localhost . I suggested via software like SpywareBlaster. Others gave alternative routes to relieve the cookie menace.

    Now how did "host file hijacking" come into this picture o_O
     
  16. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    i think that spyware blaster and winpatrol plus will take good care of tracking cookkies.
     
  17. John Dalton

    John Dalton Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Re my main query, it would seem that I haven't much to worry about.

    I noticed the reference to Spywareblaster, which rang a bell. I've just checked and I have it installed!! I must have done it years ago. I suspect that a database dated September 2005 really could do with updating. :) I shall get on to this.
     
  18. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    It happens, I too forget to update it ... Just updated it a few days back after a gap of nearly 6 months !!
    That's the issue with the free version, no auto-update. But now my conscious is killing me, I think I'll buy it.
     
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