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Question about host files


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I received some advice from someone about trying to fix a problem with being unable to register a software license that I bought from them. They recommended opening a host file using Notepad, to see if the issue was being caused by an IP address. I'd never even heard of a host file before and as Googling it brought up mentions of malware and pharming, which I also don't know a lot about... do I need to be wary about altering the host file in any way? Or divulging information found in the host file to this other person?

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It was a VST (an audio software plug-in, for use in music production), purchased from a legitimate (as far as I know) 3rd party website. I'm fine with where I purchased it, and the software itself, because it's also from a reputable company. So, I'm not concerned that the person I bought from has attempted to pass on any malware in that sense. It's just this Windows host file stuff using Notepad that I don't know about. Do I need to be suspicious about that in any way?

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  • Root Admin

Open NOTEPAD then do a File, Open to:  C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

Example:

 

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
#      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
#       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#	127.0.0.1       localhost
#	::1             localhost

 

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1 minute ago, Porthos said:

If they are instructing you to add an entry to the hosts file you need to worry.

But it would help us to assist you if you actually answer my first question.

Sorry, I thought the answer given was specific enough, as the question was about the host file issue and not the software or website. The software was Mastering in the Mix Bassroom and it was purchased from KVR Marketplace.

They have not instructed me to add any entries to the file. Not yet anyway. I posted this question here after they gave me instructions on how to open the file, before I proceeded any further. So, if it was simply a case of them telling me to open Notepad and use the open file command to navigate to a specific file, which I then opened, as of that point nothing can happen so far? It's only if they gave me further instructions on altering the text in the file and saving it, that I'd need to worry about?

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6 minutes ago, soksabai said:

The software was Mastering in the Mix Bassroom and it was purchased from KVR Marketplace.

Was the price you paid $60 USD? Or was it a lot less. Some 3rd party marketplaces do not sell legit copies of software and that is why I am skeptical.

 

Edited by Porthos
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5 minutes ago, Porthos said:

Was the price you paid $60 USD? Or was it a lot less. Some 3rd party marketplaces do not sell legit copies of software and that is why I am skeptical.

 

It was $20. It was for a license, rather than a copy of software. I've already had some communication with the company, as they do allow license transfers. Unfortunately I'm having to wait until Monday to speak to them again and the seller has only just messaged me about trying the file host thing.

 

2 minutes ago, Porthos said:

@soksabai If the hosts file is an issue you can reset it to default.

Instructions on resetting your HOSTS file can be found in this Microsoft support article

I'll just take your original advice to not alter anything in the file in the first place, then it would not need resetting, correct? I'm assuming that simply being given the file directory by this person, and then opening that file, isn't enough on it's own to do anything to my system. Apologies if that's obvious! I really don't have a clue about things like this.

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4 minutes ago, soksabai said:

It was $20. It was for a license, rather than a copy of software.

If the license you were sold does not activate/register the software, then I would have an issue. @$40 discount on paid software falls under the too good to be true/legit category.

Many have tried the same with other software including Malwarebytes and were burned. Software should always be purchased from the maker of the software.

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I know. However, the vast majority of VST manufacturers openly allow license transfer / reselling. I'm not sure if this is the case or not with other types of software such as antivirus software.

I did consider the financial risks involved before buying, and would not have done so without having some form of back up such as having Buyer & Fraud Protection from PayPal, although I know that this is subject to terms & conditions. I also only purchased from forum members with plenty of positive feedback and recommendations. I appreciate the concern in that regard anyway. Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, soksabai said:

They also do have a section in their info about transfers from person to person.

Time will tell if this will work in your case. As a new owner you will not have access to support but with all of the community support forums you might not need it.

Still best of luck.

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