Covenent Eyes Changed Windows 7 Network "hosts" File

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  • Updated 5 years ago
I noticed that my hosts file had been changed after installing Covenant Eyes.

I found out about it because Microsoft Security Essentials began
complaining that I had a possible virus attack, and that it had changed
my hosts file!

I was able to stop the MSE warnings by excluding the hosts file from its scan checks, but I don't think that should be a permanent solution, since malware could change the hosts file to something bad. So, I am looking for a better solution, if you can help.

Also, as a techie, I am curious about why the hosts file was changed this way?

Thanks in advance for your help,

John
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John Bullock

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Posted 5 years ago

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John, Official Rep

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Hey John,

Thanks for taking the time to post.

Usually with MSE (security essentials) if you disable it before installing the program it should help prevent the pop ups.

As for the host file changes, essentially it gives us greater control and ability to help monitor you on specific HTTPS sites, namely google. Google has a non HTTPS version of their webpage that the government mandated they create for schools/colleges in order to monitor student activity. We have piggybacked onto that site by using Covenant Eyes to force  redirect from standard HTTPS google to the HTTP version. 

In a nutshell this allows us to get better reporting on what happens in google (as well as better filtering) without having to do any sort of nasty security hacking of HTTPS

As a teach guy myself I want to assure you that we are looking for more graceful solutions that would require less host file modifications. For now however this was way we could improve the quality of our reports quickly and efficiently.

Does that make sense?
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John Bullock

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John,

Yep, makes sense to me.

MSE was disabled when I installed CE (version 5.0.7.194) so not sure why the complaints about the hosts file being changed.

I will remove hosts from the MSE file exclude list and see if it still complains.

Thanks for the explanation,

John
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MRF

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I also had the same problem, even though MSE was disabled when I installed CE. I have attached the modified hosts file. Why don't you include a reference to Covenant Eyes in the modification text? I had to lookup the IP address on whois and compare the modification date with my CE installation. If the MSE error had occurred later, then I might have had some difficulty remembering which software I had installed on that date.
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Jake, Employee

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Hey Matt,
Sorry for the trouble with the hosts file. There is a version in the works that addresses this very issue. It does not alter the hosts file and will install seamlessly with MSE/Defender.

Thanks for voicing your concern.

Jake
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MRF

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Thank you for your prompt response, Jake, and glad to hear the issue is being addressed.

Llama, rather than alpaca? :-)