Host File?

Posted on June 1st, 2009 in Domain News by dglosser

We get at least one request a week to create a host file.  This post will explain why there are no plans to create one:

  • There needs to be an exact entry in the hosts file for each malware host/domain combination. Even within the same domain, there must separate host entry. For example, the domain internetserviceteam .com is listed both here and in HPHosts.  In order for a host file to be effective, every hostname must be listed as well.   Just listing internetserviceteam .com will not work. HPHosts contains over 250 entries for internetserviceteam .com, such as 212-95-54-48.internetserviceteam .com,  212-95-54-49.internetserviceteam .com, etc.   We have no wish to keep track of hundreds of potential hosts per domain (but appreciate the time and effort of others).
  • The different host files available all do a great  job of tracking individual hosts than we would.  Therefore, we have decided  to concentrate on domain blocking in a corporate environment and allow this list to be used for free for non-commercial use for those who wish to extend it  (see below).
  • The Web of Trust has free add-ons for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Malwaredomains is one of their “trusted sites”. So any domain listed here will be flagged if you use mywot.
  • Adblock Plus is available for Firefox, Thunderbird, and other browsers (You don’t use Firefox??).  Be sure to subscribe to the malwaredomains add-on for Adblock Plus.  If you use the malwaredomains add-on,  then any domain listed here will be blocked as well.

So, if you want to use a host file black list, please do so. It’s a great idea.   The Internet Storm Center has a nice review to help you choose which one will work best for you.

We feel we’d be doing a disservice to create a host file here when there are better and more complete ones freely and readily available, and our list is utilized by mywot and Adblock Plus.  Using a host file and running   firefox  with adblock/malwaredomains subscription and mywot will go a long way to keeping you safe online.

In addition to a good host file,  we recommend a defense-in-depth approach, including the following:

  1. use a good antivirus program and a good hardware firewall
  2. run firefox with Adblock Plus/malwaredomains subscription
  3. Install the  noscript firefox extension
  4. Install  the mywot extension.
  5. consider using OpenDNS

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