Rudimentry tcp/ip blocking
An old throwback from Arpanet is the old “hosts” file. This was used instead of DNS servers to resolve names to ip addresses.
The Internet is so huge now that the hosts file is no longer a useful way to resolve host IP addresses to IP addresses, but this “hosts” file does still exist on all TCP/IP capable computers.
You can find yours too by looking in the right spot.
In older versions of windows (Windows Me and older) you can find your “hosts” file in your “%WINDIR%” (usually c:\windows). More modern Windows Variants (NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7) can be found in “%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\drivers\etc” (it’s defined in the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\DataBasePath registry key).
Older Macintosh systems (9 and earlier) it can be found in the System or Preferences folder, or in OS/X (including iPhones and iPods) in the /private/etc/hosts file.
All UNIX based systems have a /etc/hosts file.
Netware systems it is in the “SYS:etc\hosts” directory.
In the c:\mptn\etc\ directory.
Once you’ve determined where your hosts file is you can find that it mostly contains information about your own computer. Something like:
Hackers sometimes will put their own code in here to point you to their malicious sites:
We can use this to our advantage by blocking known malicious or just plain annoying sites.
Just download that file, copy it’s entries into your “hosts” file and you should have a fairly recently up to date list of malicious sites and some rudimentary blocking to these sites.
How it works is when your computer goes to lookup the address to these malicious sites (should it ever have to), the address it gets back is 127.0.0.1 which is ALWAYS your own computer. Meaning that any time it tries to attach to a malicious site, it would actually try to attach to your own computer instead.
Remember, this doesn’t make you invincible; but it does definitely help.