Hosts file issue

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan problems, porn
sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw that some
trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up properly
with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At the
same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual, or
tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of sites that
do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected the
Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed it.
There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites mentioned.
On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.

So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or more
entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many entries to
plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all before or
since the trouble began.
11 answers Last reply
More about hosts file issue
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    This isn't a problem at all and your hosts file is doing exactly what it
    should be doing. The parts of the pages that you get the "file not
    available" message are parts of the page that has content coming from sites
    in your hosts list. They are most likely advertisements that are not being
    shown.


    "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> wrote in message
    news:428e9123@212.67.96.135...
    > Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
    > troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan problems,
    > porn
    > sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw that
    > some
    > trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up
    > properly
    > with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At the
    > same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual, or
    > tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of sites
    > that
    > do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected the
    > Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed it.
    > There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites mentioned.
    > On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.
    >
    > So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or
    > more
    > entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many entries to
    > plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all before
    > or
    > since the trouble began.
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    Hosts file,
    install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you describe
    is
    mainly caused by browser hijackers.

    The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    _________________________________________________

    # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x

    127.0.0.1 localhost
    __________________________________________________

    Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have added
    it.
    Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    a regular basis.
    http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html

    Regards.

    -----------------------------------------------
    "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> escribió en el mensaje
    news:428e9123@212.67.96.135...
    > Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
    > troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan problems,
    porn
    > sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw that
    some
    > trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up
    properly
    > with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At the
    > same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual, or
    > tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of sites
    that
    > do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected the
    > Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed it.
    > There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites mentioned.
    > On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.
    >
    > So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or
    more
    > entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many entries to
    > plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all before
    or
    > since the trouble began.
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    You are incorrect to say that any additional sites in the hosts file are
    hijackers. The OP has told us that he's using a downloaded hosts file.


    "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    news:%2394m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    > if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    > Hosts file,
    > install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you describe
    > is
    > mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    >
    > The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    > _________________________________________________
    >
    > # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    > # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    >
    > 127.0.0.1 localhost
    > __________________________________________________
    >
    > Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have added
    > it.
    > Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    > and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    > a regular basis.
    > http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    >
    > Regards.
    >
    > -----------------------------------------------
    > "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> escribió en el mensaje
    > news:428e9123@212.67.96.135...
    >> Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
    >> troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan problems,
    > porn
    >> sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw that
    > some
    >> trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up
    > properly
    >> with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At the
    >> same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual, or
    >> tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of sites
    > that
    >> do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected the
    >> Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed it.
    >> There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites
    >> mentioned.
    >> On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.
    >>
    >> So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or
    > more
    >> entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many entries
    >> to
    >> plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all before
    > or
    >> since the trouble began.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    You are right to some degree Scott, I should have explained that further....
    any site included in the Hosts file should be a trusted site, and there is
    where
    the line is drawn, any hijacker can write itself in the file and mix in with
    the
    trusted sites.
    In any case the Hosts file should only be used as the MVP site describes,
    if the user understands it fully. With all the several hundred entries Mr.
    Booth
    mentions, there coul be a few malitious sites mixed in and only a spyware
    programs can tell.

    Regards.

    -------------------------------------------
    "Scott M." <s-mar@nospam.nospam> escribió en el mensaje
    news:ufkVZYmXFHA.3840@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    > You are incorrect to say that any additional sites in the hosts file are
    > hijackers. The OP has told us that he's using a downloaded hosts file.
    >
    >
    >
    > "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    > news:%2394m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > > The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    > > if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    > > Hosts file,
    > > install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you
    describe
    > > is
    > > mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    > >
    > > The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    > > _________________________________________________
    > >
    > > # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    > > # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    > >
    > > 127.0.0.1 localhost
    > > __________________________________________________
    > >
    > > Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have
    added
    > > it.
    > > Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    > > and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    > > a regular basis.
    > > http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    > >
    > > Regards.
    > >
    > > -----------------------------------------------
    > > "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> escribió en el mensaje
    > > news:428e9123@212.67.96.135...
    > >> Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
    > >> troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan problems,
    > > porn
    > >> sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw that
    > > some
    > >> trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up
    > > properly
    > >> with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At
    the
    > >> same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual,
    or
    > >> tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of sites
    > > that
    > >> do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected
    the
    > >> Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed
    it.
    > >> There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites
    > >> mentioned.
    > >> On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.
    > >>
    > >> So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or
    > > more
    > >> entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many entries
    > >> to
    > >> plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all
    before
    > > or
    > >> since the trouble began.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    OK Scott I understand... but the problem is that the OP has a browser
    hijacking problem
    wether the Hosts file is infected or not. is a whole different matter and
    the only solution is
    relying on spyware programs, the ones I recommended to the OP are the ones
    everyone
    should have installed as they are recommended by most MVPs. I recommend them
    every time a problem of infection is evident and this is one of those cases
    I've seen this
    type of sympthoms and nine out of ten are browser hijackings.
    I'm sure you'll agree to this diagnose.

    Regards.

    ------------------------------------------
    "Scott M." <s-mar@nospam.nospam> escribió en el mensaje
    news:ufkVZYmXFHA.3840@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    > You are incorrect to say that any additional sites in the hosts file are
    > hijackers. The OP has told us that he's using a downloaded hosts file.
    >
    >
    >
    > "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    > news:%2394m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > > The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    > > if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    > > Hosts file,
    > > install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you
    describe
    > > is
    > > mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    > >
    > > The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    > > _________________________________________________
    > >
    > > # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    > > # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    > >
    > > 127.0.0.1 localhost
    > > __________________________________________________
    > >
    > > Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have
    added
    > > it.
    > > Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    > > and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    > > a regular basis.
    > > http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    > >
    > > Regards.
    > >
    > > -----------------------------------------------
    > > "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> escribió en el mensaje
    > > news:428e9123@212.67.96.135...
    > >> Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
    > >> troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan problems,
    > > porn
    > >> sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw that
    > > some
    > >> trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up
    > > properly
    > >> with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At
    the
    > >> same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual,
    or
    > >> tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of sites
    > > that
    > >> do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected
    the
    > >> Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed
    it.
    > >> There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites
    > >> mentioned.
    > >> On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.
    > >>
    > >> So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or
    > > more
    > >> entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many entries
    > >> to
    > >> plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all
    before
    > > or
    > >> since the trouble began.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    news:#94m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >
    > The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    > if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    > Hosts file,
    > install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you describe
    > is
    > mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    >
    > The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    > _________________________________________________
    >
    > # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    > # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    >
    > 127.0.0.1 localhost
    > __________________________________________________
    >
    > Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have added
    > it.
    > Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    > and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    > a regular basis.
    > http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    >
    > Regards.
    >
    Thanks but the contents of my Hosts file was downloaded from
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm which is an excellent site
    explaining the purpose of the file and has several hundred suspect entries
    included in the file. The only problem I'm experiencing is that some sites
    don't open correctly; "error on page" warning or "page unavailable" placed
    on parts of a downloaded site. All the info that normally displays, which I
    use for thes problem sites is still correctly displayed.
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    Well, if you don't want to see those errors, don't use that host file.
    That's how it works.

    Tom
    "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> wrote in message
    news:428fc781@212.67.96.135...
    |
    | "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    | news:#94m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    | >
    | > The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    | > if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    | > Hosts file,
    | > install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you
    describe
    | > is
    | > mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    | >
    | > The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    | > _________________________________________________
    | >
    | > # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    | > # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    | >
    | > 127.0.0.1 localhost
    | > __________________________________________________
    | >
    | > Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have
    added
    | > it.
    | > Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    | > and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    | > a regular basis.
    | > http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    | >
    | > Regards.
    | >
    | Thanks but the contents of my Hosts file was downloaded from
    | http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm which is an excellent site
    | explaining the purpose of the file and has several hundred suspect entries
    | included in the file. The only problem I'm experiencing is that some sites
    | don't open correctly; "error on page" warning or "page unavailable" placed
    | on parts of a downloaded site. All the info that normally displays, which
    I
    | use for thes problem sites is still correctly displayed.
    |
    |
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    As I stated earlier, what is happening to you is normal and correct
    behavior. Most sites contain content that comes from known ad servers (ie.
    ads.Microsoft.com, ads.cnn.com, etc.). If you visit a site that has some of
    the page content coming from the servers listed in your hosts file, you are
    not supposes to get their content, hence you will get that section of the
    page showing the "Page Not Available".


    "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> wrote in message
    news:428fc781@212.67.96.135...
    >
    > "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    > news:#94m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >>
    >> The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    >> if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    >> Hosts file,
    >> install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you
    >> describe
    >> is
    >> mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    >>
    >> The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    >> _________________________________________________
    >>
    >> # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    >> # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    >>
    >> 127.0.0.1 localhost
    >> __________________________________________________
    >>
    >> Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have
    >> added
    >> it.
    >> Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    >> and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    >> a regular basis.
    >> http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    >>
    >> Regards.
    >>
    > Thanks but the contents of my Hosts file was downloaded from
    > http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm which is an excellent site
    > explaining the purpose of the file and has several hundred suspect entries
    > included in the file. The only problem I'm experiencing is that some sites
    > don't open correctly; "error on page" warning or "page unavailable" placed
    > on parts of a downloaded site. All the info that normally displays, which
    > I
    > use for thes problem sites is still correctly displayed.
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    I don't understand why you keep saying that the OP has a hijacker problem.
    He does not. The OP is not describing his home page being hijacked or sites
    that he intends to go to being replaced by other sites.

    What the OP is describing is exactly what should happen when you visit pages
    that have content that comes from sites listed in the hosts file.

    I have at least a thousand entries in my hosts file (mainly for the
    elimination of most pop up ads) and when I visit virtually ANY site that has
    advertising content that comes from ad servers listed in my hosts file, I
    will get portions of the page that show with a "Page Not Available" error
    message. When I get these sections, I immediately know that what *would*
    have been there is an advertisement.

    This is the behavior that the OP is describing, not hijacking.


    "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    news:O80yyjmXFHA.1044@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > OK Scott I understand... but the problem is that the OP has a browser
    > hijacking problem
    > wether the Hosts file is infected or not. is a whole different matter and
    > the only solution is
    > relying on spyware programs, the ones I recommended to the OP are the ones
    > everyone
    > should have installed as they are recommended by most MVPs. I recommend
    > them
    > every time a problem of infection is evident and this is one of those
    > cases
    > I've seen this
    > type of sympthoms and nine out of ten are browser hijackings.
    > I'm sure you'll agree to this diagnose.
    >
    > Regards.
    >
    > ------------------------------------------
    > "Scott M." <s-mar@nospam.nospam> escribió en el mensaje
    > news:ufkVZYmXFHA.3840@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    >> You are incorrect to say that any additional sites in the hosts file are
    >> hijackers. The OP has told us that he's using a downloaded hosts file.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    >> news:%2394m9ujXFHA.3040@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >> > The Hosts file should not be removed, instead it should be edited,
    >> > if you still have trouble with some web pages after you have edited the
    >> > Hosts file,
    >> > install spyware programs and cleanup your system, the problem you
    > describe
    >> > is
    >> > mainly caused by browser hijackers.
    >> >
    >> > The Hosts file should only contain the following example of addresses.
    >> > _________________________________________________
    >> >
    >> > # 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # servidor origen
    >> > # 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # host cliente x
    >> >
    >> > 127.0.0.1 localhost
    >> > __________________________________________________
    >> >
    >> > Any other address should be considered a hijacker,.. unless you have
    > added
    >> > it.
    >> > Download Adaware SE Personal, Spybot Search & Destroy, CWShredder
    >> > and SpywareBlaster. Update them before scanning and update/use them on
    >> > a regular basis.
    >> > http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
    >> >
    >> > Regards.
    >> >
    >> > -----------------------------------------------
    >> > "Frank Booth Snr" <frank@oldman.com> escribió en el mensaje
    >> > news:428e9123@212.67.96.135...
    >> >> Some months ago I downloaded a Hosts file which includes numerous
    >> >> troublesome websites known to cause spyware or inflict trojan
    >> >> problems,
    >> > porn
    >> >> sites etc. I've had no trouble with this until recently when I saw
    >> >> that
    >> > some
    >> >> trusted websites that I've used for a long time were not opening up
    >> > properly
    >> >> with 'Web Page unavailable' displayed on parts of these websites. At
    > the
    >> >> same time opening these websites seems to take much longer than usual,
    > or
    >> >> tthese web pages just don't complete. However there are plenty of
    >> >> sites
    >> > that
    >> >> do open normally. I have no 'restricted site' entries, so I suspected
    > the
    >> >> Hosts file might be the source of the problem and temporarily removed
    > it.
    >> >> There was then no problem with opening the troublesome websites
    >> >> mentioned.
    >> >> On restoring the Hosts file, the problem resumed.
    >> >>
    >> >> So my question is what is the best way to proceed, as obviously one or
    >> > more
    >> >> entries in the Hosts is responsible, but there are just so many
    >> >> entries
    >> >> to
    >> >> plough through and test? I have not added to the Hosts file at all
    > before
    >> > or
    >> >> since the trouble began.
    >> >>
    >> >>
    >> >
    >> >
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    "Juan" <soyquiensoy@terra.com> wrote in message
    news:O80yyjmXFHA.1044@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > OK Scott I understand... but the problem is that the OP has a browser
    > hijacking problem
    > wether the Hosts file is infected or not. is a whole different matter and
    > the only solution is
    > relying on spyware programs, the ones I recommended to the OP are the ones
    > everyone
    > should have installed as they are recommended by most MVPs. I recommend
    them
    > every time a problem of infection is evident and this is one of those
    cases
    > I've seen this
    > type of sympthoms and nine out of ten are browser hijackings.
    > I'm sure you'll agree to this diagnose.
    >
    As Scott M has mentioned, I do NOT have a hijacking/spyware problem. I
    simply wanted to confirm that the use of a Hosts file with numerous entries
    could cause certain web pages to malfunction, and that is what has happened,
    and Scott confirmed was perfectly normal. However the majority of pages open
    normally.

    You haven't read what I described. The Hosts file I use is supplied by
    http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm and has over a thousand entries
    including descriptions by some of them, which indicate that these are
    suspect regarding the downloading of spyware,trojans etc. I don't use
    anti-spyware, and if the Hosts file does its job, then there's probably no
    need to anyway.
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

    "Scott M." <s-mar@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
    news:eC6$IRtXFHA.1240@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > I don't understand why you keep saying that the OP has a hijacker problem.
    > He does not. The OP is not describing his home page being hijacked or
    sites
    > that he intends to go to being replaced by other sites.
    >
    > What the OP is describing is exactly what should happen when you visit
    pages
    > that have content that comes from sites listed in the hosts file.
    >
    > I have at least a thousand entries in my hosts file (mainly for the
    > elimination of most pop up ads) and when I visit virtually ANY site that
    has
    > advertising content that comes from ad servers listed in my hosts file, I
    > will get portions of the page that show with a "Page Not Available" error
    > message. When I get these sections, I immediately know that what *would*
    > have been there is an advertisement.
    >
    > This is the behavior that the OP is describing, not hijacking.
    >
    Thanks, Scott. You've explained it completely. the only thing that is odd is
    that I had no error problems until a week ago. Yesterday, I deleted the
    Hosts file then re-downloaded it, but the errors remain for the same sites.
    I can only assume that those sites suddenly decided to employ one of the
    forbidden ad servers included in the Hosts.
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