Wednesday, August 15, 2012

APK-Hosts-File-Installer

There is is another Hosts File Installer program created by Alexander P. Kowalski.  You can download the latest version here:



This zip file is in the 2012_06_01 folder If you want the older version or to look around you need to go to the top level APK folder.  It is here:



Brief instructions for how it works are at Start64.com.  As you can imagine it is made to work with Windows 7 64-bit and the instructions are tailored around that OS version.  Here are the brief instructions:



As you can imagine, you will need some sort of hosts file to use the program with.  Here are some of them with some information that will reduce the load on the servers if that is possible.  If there is no need to update, why update?  I will give a brief explanation of each.




These are perhaps the most complete files on the Internet.  Since they are so large, please check the update.txt file (second link) first.  They are 7-zipped so you will need something that supports the 7-zip format to use them.  They are just too large to download the whole files without some sort of compression.
7-Zip is far and away the best compression algorithm.  In addition it cannot be made to expand forever, cannot be peered into on Windows, and you throw the UID:GID of the files away on Unix / Linux.



This list is fairly similar to MVPHosts later on but it does have French specific hosts  added to it and very few comments.  It is hosted at sysctl.org



These are mine.   There is no difference between the files at HostsFile.org and SecureMecca.com.  I use the UnixUtils utility with my own shell scripts to do the updating.  The scripts are used with zipped folders using both the zip and 7-Zip format.  Rather than linking to all of them I will just give the link to UnixUtils, the script that I use, and finally the downloads folders.

Unix Utils Folder
Unix Utils - zipped with instructions
AutoHosts shell script
SecureMecca.com Downloads folder

If you compare the current sizes of 857K for the uncompressed hosts.txt file compared to 178 K (AutoHosts.unx.7z), 341 K (AutoHosts.unx.zip), 180 K (AutoHosts.msw.7z), and 346 K (AutoHosts.msw.zip) you can see that in addition to having all of the constituent files and OpenPGP signatures of the add.Risk and hosts file you still save a lot of network bandwidth. If you just look at the date on the hosts.html file or the hdate.txt file you will save even more if nothing has changed.  They change almost every week.  My script pulls down the hdate.txt file first and if it has not changed nothing is done.  I used to round robin between HostsFile.org and SecureMecca.com.  But the HostsFile.org owner (it is not mine but the files are) mentioned he wanted to take it down.  You cannot see the files in the Downloads folder and there are NO 7-zip files, only zip files on HostsFile.org.  IIS is what is doing that.  SecureMecca.com is on a modified Unix type system.


Hosts-File.net (hpHosts)

Actually, this is distributed across serveral hosts.  Because they may fail due to either DDOS (hosts-file.net had a three day DDOS on the second week of August 2012) or one or more of the servers being down I made it try one server after another until it gets the zip file.  I am sorry but the files in the hpHosts folders are in LF format only since they were made to work only on Linux.  Windows users need to use NotePad++, psPad, or Vim to look at the files to get some sort of idea what you could do with VBS.

hosts-file.net wget files (7-Zip)
hosts-file wget files (zip format)
ckdupe program (Windows)

The ckdupe program will check for duplicates in a hosts file or just spit out all of the host names.  I mentioned that hosts-file.net author who is an MVP has had a DDOS.  He also receives lots of bounced spam where they forge the headers on a PC and have them send out mail pretending to be hosts-file.net.  A spammer is doing the same thing with securemecca.com.  I call the bounces lemons and have been making the host names (lemons) into lemonade (read - they go into my hosts file).


MalwareDomainList hosts file

This is malware specific for Windows.  Since there are so few of them I have most of these hosts in both the Linux and Windows file versions.  They come and go so fast that if you wait much over two weeks they will be out of date.


MVPHosts

This is probably one of the oldest hosts files out there.  I don't know why it is so small but it is what it is.  It is the only hosts file I usually see in HJT logs all over the Internet.  That could be because it doesn't block enough or it is about the only hosts file used.  I have concluded it is the latter.


SomeoneWhoCares.org hosts

An oldie but a goodie.  He does update it.


This is by no means all of them.  I gave you some to choose from just to get you going.  I will say that despite the hosts file at HostsFile.org / SecureMecca.com being much larger than MVPHosts it also blocks more but also depends heavily on the PAC filter for the bulk of the protection.  A PAC filter like AdBlockPlus for Firefox and AdBlock for Chrome has the capacity to wipe out huge swaths of hosts but at the same can reach in and snip out an offending JavaScript but leave the rest of the host alone.  Nonetheless, the spammers are pumping up tha size of my hosts file considerably at HostsFile.org / SecureMecca.com.  I will write more about spam and my conclusions of the only way to bring it down in the next blog entry.  Good luck using the APK hosts file installer!