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:
- use a good antivirus program and a good hardware firewall
- run firefox with Adblock Plus/malwaredomains subscription
- Install the noscript firefox extension
- Install the mywot extension.
- consider using OpenDNS