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Defender HostFileHijack notifications


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Good Afternoon-     I have recently been getting a Defender notification about a SettingModifier: Win 32/Host FileHijack.    I have Malwarebytes pro running along side of Defender at all times. After the detection I tried to have Defender quarantine but it not complete the remediation.  I then ran Malwarebytes a couple of times but it did not detect the file.  I then ran the ESET online scanner which did not see the file either.

The Nags from Defender continue.   I searching around I see Defender has been known to show false positives if the host file is altered but to the best of my knowledge - I have not intentionally done so.

Hoping someone has time to look at the attached  MBytes, AdwCleaner and FRST files and advise.    Most appreciated.

MWB.txt AdwCleaner[C00].txt AdwCleaner[S00].txt FRST.txt Addition.txt

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29 minutes ago, snafu said:

I searching around I see Defender has been known to show false positives if the host file is altered but to the best of my knowledge - I have not intentionally done so.

That happens now if you block telemetry for example C:\Program Files (x86)\Spybot Anti-Beacon\SDAntiBeacon.exe

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/windows-10-hosts-file-blocking-telemetry-is-now-flagged-as-a-risk/

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Porthos-   Thank you looking.   I thought that may be the case but went into Anti-Beacon and undid all setting which included any Telemetry stuff.  Ran Defender and it still saw it.

Should I uninstall Spybot for a few days and see what happens ?      Should I assume you looked over the files provided and they seem to be clean ?

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29 minutes ago, snafu said:

Should I uninstall Spybot for a few days and see what happens ?

I would undo all changes it made and then uninstall it and keep it off. I only disable what is available within the different Windows options. The good telemetry is important to make sure updates/upgrades are being done safely.

 

 

30 minutes ago, snafu said:

Should I assume you looked over the files provided and they seem to be clean ?

There is some housekeeping that can be done and I will let @AdvancedSetup take care of you further.

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  • Root Admin

Hello @snafu

Yes, the detection by Windows Defender is new but the process of bypassing the hosts file is not new and has been discussed all the way back to 2006

 

SettingsModifier:Win32/HostsFileHijack (as it relates to Windows Defender detecting and resetting your hosts file)
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wdsi/threats/malware-encyclopedia-description?Name=SettingsModifier:Win32/HostsFileHijack&threatId=265754

This detection flags suspicious modifications to the Windows hosts file, specifically entries for certain domains used by the operating system and critical services. Windows uses the hosts files to resolve domains to IP addresses during network communication, so malicious modifications can prevent legitimate network connections, such as updates and certificate checks, or result in insecure and potentially harmful connections.

Hosts file tampering is a common malware or attacker technique used to prevent or redirect network connections. An attacker might modify the file to block legitimate connections or to divert network traffic to a destination controlled by the attacker, resulting in the download of additional malware or other malicious activity.

 

Microsoft HOSTS file bypass issue - Apr 15, 2006 12:05 pm PST
https://www.csoonline.com/article/2641599/microsoft-hosts-file-bypass-issue.html

 

I don't see any obvious infections, but let's go ahead and run some generic clean up and verify your operating system files.

 

Please download the attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop or location where you ran FRST from.
NOTE. It's important that both files, FRST or FRST64, and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.

Please make sure you disable any real time antivirus or security software before running this script. Once completed make sure you re-enable it.

NOTICE: This script was written specifically for this user, for use on this particular machine. Running this on another machine may cause damage to your operating system that cannot be undone.

Run FRST or FRST64 and press the Fix button just once and wait.
If the tool needs a restart please make sure you let the system restart normally and let the tool complete its run after restart.
The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt) or wherever you ran FRST from. Please attach or post it to your next reply.

Note: If the tool warned you about an outdated version please download and run the updated version.

NOTE-1:  This fix will run a scan to check that all Microsoft operating system files are valid and not corrupt and attempt to correct any invalid files. It will also run a disk check on the restart to ensure disk integrity. Depending on the speed of your computer this fix may take 30 minutes or more.

NOTE-2: As part of this fix all temporary files will be removed. If you have any open web pages that have not been bookmarked please make sure you bookmark them now as all open applications will be automatically closed. Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies will also be removed. The use of an external password manager is highly recommended instead of using your browser to store passwords.

The following directories are emptied:

  • Windows Temp
  • Users Temp folders
  • Edge, IE, FF, Chrome and Opera caches, HTML5 storages, Cookies and History
  • Recently opened files cache
  • Flash Player cache
  • Java cache
  • Steam HTML cache
  • Explorer thumbnail and icon cache
  • BITS transfer queue (qmgr*.dat files)
  • Recycle Bin

Important: items are permanently deleted. They are not moved to quarantine. If you have any questions or concerns please ask before running this fix.

The system will be rebooted after the fix has run.

fixlist.txt

Thanks

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Root Admin

Due to the lack of feedback, this topic is closed to prevent others from posting here.

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this topic. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.

Tips to help protect from infection

Thanks

 

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