SpyBot 4.0/Hosts File?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Leanin' Cedar, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Just upgraded to SpyBot Version 4.0.3 (Build 363) , as soon as it loaded
    I got an error "hosts file is too large"

    Did about an hour of Google, and am more confused than I was when I started.

    I am also running WinPatrol v. 9.1

    1. Is it time to panic.

    2. In Winpatrol options tab, I have ticked Detect Changes to Internet
    Explorer Home and Search Pages, and Warn if changes are made to my HOSTS
    file. I also have ticked lock HOSTS file. Is all OK at this point?

    3. In all of the google searches there seemed to be a lot of info about
    deleting the host file, uninstall SpyBot, clear the host file etc. etc. This
    seems like it is a bit over the top.

    4. Should I try to uninstall the update, and go back to the previous version
    and wait for SpyBot to fix this?

    5. It seems some users replace there hosts file by using a download. Is this
    advisable?

    6. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks
    Bob
     
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 16, 2005
    #1
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  2. Well first off, how large of a file is your hosts file? By default it
    is located at C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. You may want to
    rename that file to say hosts.bak and create a new file with the
    following contents: 127.0.0.1 localhost

    I'm presuming you are on a home machine and don't rely on your hosts
    file for any particular app.
     
    Nicholas Andrade, Jun 16, 2005
    #2
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  3. Leanin' Cedar

    NuTCrAcKeR Guest

    Well first off, how large of a file is your hosts file? By default it is
    while my home network has its own DNS, I still have a massive hosts file.
    Its there incase the popup blockers dont do thier job, which occasionally
    happens. Everything in there points to 127.0.0.1

    tedious at times, but useful.

    - NuTs
     
    NuTCrAcKeR, Jun 16, 2005
    #3
  4. I do that for big offenders, but in general between Mozilla and AdBlock
    it's not much of an issue. I do use a few URL shortcuts for when I ssh
    into my school's mail server, etc.
     
    Nicholas Andrade, Jun 16, 2005
    #4
  5. Yes, I am on a home machine and only user.

    I have the following;
    hosts 49KB 4/16/2005 2:53 AM
    hosts.20040721-085236.backup 1KB 8/18/2001 5:00 AM
    hosts.20050416-025318.backup 49KB 2/23/2005 7:22 PM
    Imhosts.sam 4KB 8/18/2001 5:00 AM
    networks 1KB 8/18/2001 5:00 AM
    protocol 1KB 8/18/2001 5:00 AM
    services 7KB 12/15/2003 6:12 PM


    the first few entries in the hosts file
    127.0.0.1 localhost
    # start of entries inserted by spybot - search & destroy
    127.0.0.1 coolwwwsearch.com
    127.0.0.1 coolwebsearch.com
    everything is preceded by 127.0.0.1


    Bob
     
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 16, 2005
    #5
  6. Leanin' Cedar

    Quaoar Guest

    You have too many programs that modify the hosts file, IMO. SpyBot,
    when Immunizing your computer, inserts its current list of bad actors
    into the hosts file; presumably all of your other programs do the same.
    The result is an ever-growing list containing many duplicates supplied
    by several different programs. Not only that, but SpyBot has the same
    functionality (presumably) as WinPatrol. You should review your need
    for duplication of effort.

    If I were you, I would rename the current hosts file and decide to use
    one reputable monitoring program to control it. SpyBot would be my
    choice (Immunize) with downloading a pre-built hosts from a reputable
    source as second. Frankly, I would dump WinPatrol in favor of SpyBot
    since WP simply duplicates SB's functionality.

    Software firewalls normally contain popup blocking capability. The
    hosts file, IMO, is the wrong source for popup control. There is no
    humanly possible way to keep on top of the ever-changing URL's used by
    popups. I would never run without a software firewall of some repute.
    I use Outpost, but there are many other decent firewalls.

    Q
     
    Quaoar, Jun 16, 2005
    #6

  7. Something for me to consider. My understanding was that spybot updated the
    host file, and winpatrol was simply trying to alert me if something was
    changing the hosts file.

    I believe the problem is based in the new version of SpySweeper, since there
    was not any error message about the hosts file being too large before the
    new version. but that is why I am trying to gather info.

    Does WinPatrol update the host file, or just monitor it?

    Thanks for any help
    Bob
     
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 16, 2005
    #7
  8. Leanin' Cedar

    Quaoar Guest

    I don't know about WinPatrol, but now you've mentioned Spy Sweeper also.
    I would dump all but Spybot (it can lock your hosts file, lock out
    browser hijacks), and get a NAT router with Stateful Packet Inspection
    and other security even if you have only one computer. It will be much
    simpler and far easier to control.

    Q
     
    Quaoar, Jun 18, 2005
    #8
  9. Leanin' Cedar

    Hank Arnold Guest

    You are the first person I've heard to recommend a single program to combat
    Spy/Malware.... Everyone else (and I mean *everyone* else) will tell you
    that no single package can deal with all the spyware out there.....
     
    Hank Arnold, Jun 18, 2005
    #9

  10. That was sort of my feeling also. Every site I have visited recommends
    running at least three.
    I keep SpySweeper and WinPatrol running in the background plus ZA Pro and
    NAV.
    I have been fortunate so far no virus, trojans and very little spyware gets
    through. Plus I do a full sweep and updates every week with Ad-Aware, Hijack
    This, SpySweeper, Spybot and update spywareblaster.
    Call me paranoid LOL

    Use Firefox for most of my browsing, and have activeX etc shutdown with ZA.
    A few sites need activeX or Java and I allow this per site with ZA

    The only problem is with the host file report with spysweeper and WinPatrol
    is set to warn of changes to that.

    Bob

    Bob
     
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 18, 2005
    #10
  11. Leanin' Cedar

    Rob Guest



    Did you read the help file, check their web site or google this
    question?

    Can't say for sure but why not just eliminate all these overlapping
    softwares and reinstall each one on a different day. This might find
    what software is causing it to get too large or the reinstalling
    process will make everything fresh and smaller to start.
     
    Rob, Jun 20, 2005
    #11
  12. Leanin' Cedar

    RRR_News Guest

    Leanin Ceder,
    Check the following site, and scroll down to the posting by siliconman01:

    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=482838

    The application you are talking about is not SPYBOT: S&D, but SPYSweeper. It
    seems that there is an issue with the HOSTS file and the program.

    --

    Rich/rerat

    (RRR News) <message rule>
    <<Previous Text Snipped to Save Bandwidth When Appropriate>>



    <Rob> wrote in message


    Did you read the help file, check their web site or google this
    question?

    Can't say for sure but why not just eliminate all these overlapping
    softwares and reinstall each one on a different day. This might find
    what software is causing it to get too large or the reinstalling
    process will make everything fresh and smaller to start.
     
    RRR_News, Jun 20, 2005
    #12
  13. You are right. The google searches I have done have been on spysweeper. That
    is a link I had previously visited.
    there are some real convoluted solutions out there.
    I wrote a ticket and just got this response from SpySweeper

    "Solution: Starting with Spy Sweeper Version 4.0, you may receive
    this message if your Hosts file has too many entries for the Hosts File
    Shield to support. If you receive this message, you will not be able to
    turn on your Hosts File Shield until you reduce the number of entries or
    size in your Hosts file. We implemented this check with Version 4.0
    because our Threat Research team indicated that a very large Hosts file
    (requiring thousands of DNS or Domain Name Service look-ups) has a
    negative impact on your Windows performance and that of Spy Sweeper. "

    Since the size of my hosts file is 49KB, I reopened the ticket and asks what
    the solution might be and if 49KB is too large.

    The entries in the hosts file are from spybot

    127.0.0.1 localhost
    # start of entries inserted by spybot - search & destroy
    127.0.0.1 coolwwwsearch.com
    127.0.0.1 coolwebsearch.com


    Too much spy-this and spy-that

    I currently have WinPatrol monitoring changes in my hosts file.

    Thanks
    Bob
     
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 21, 2005
    #13
  14. Leanin' Cedar

    Hank Arnold Guest

    So use Spy Sweeper w/o the hosts file protection..... It's one fantabulous
    application....
     
    Hank Arnold, Jun 21, 2005
    #14
  15. That is what I am doing, I imagine Webroot will have an update out before
    too long.
    Bob
     
    Leanin' Cedar, Jun 21, 2005
    #15
  16. Leanin' Cedar

    Ben Myers Guest

    How about Spybot + Ad-Aware? Nneither is intrusive and together they seem to
    identify 99.9% of the pests. Both have frequent updates... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Jun 21, 2005
    #16
  17. Leanin' Cedar

    S.Lewis Guest


    <snip>


    Yep. Toss in MS anti-spyware for real-time registry changes, startup items
    or unwanted (adware/spyware) program installs, and that should do it.


    Stew
     
    S.Lewis, Jun 21, 2005
    #17
  18. Leanin' Cedar, Jun 22, 2005
    #18
  19. Leanin' Cedar

    Hank Arnold Guest

    That is almost 6 months old!! I used it briefly a few months ago (not bad,
    actually) with no such problems.....
     
    Hank Arnold, Jun 22, 2005
    #19
  20. Leanin' Cedar

    ssrlouis Guest

    1.Get rid of Winpatrol and especially Spy Sweeper both are resource
    hogs.
    2.Junk whatever hosts file you are using now and download this one:
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm
    3.Run AdAware on a weekly basis. SpyBot doesn't update frequently
    enough so uninstall it.
    4.Switch your antivirus program to NOD32 or Kapersky...I prefer NOD32
    because of it's low overhead.
    5.Download CrapCleaner and run it daily, it's free and works great:
    http://www.ccleaner.com
    6.If you dislike Flash multimedia ads, download "No! Flash" here:
    http://www.bbshare.com/noflash/
     
    ssrlouis, Jun 23, 2005
    #20
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