Jasper Johansson, co-author of Protect Your Windows Network, wrote me about the weird hosts file that we found out there.

“…it is a really dumb mistake on my part. The concept itself is sound, but the file is horribly flawed. I received it from a friend of mine with the comment that it would block spyware sites. Of course, if you can enumerate them, it would. Unfortunately, being stressed to get the book finished I did not test it like I should. I just trusted his judgment, which turned out to be horribly suspect. The file did not block spyware sites as much as it blocked sites that he considered “annoying.”

After publication we realized the problem and worked with the publisher to fix it. The first two print runs were relatively small and in the third run this file was removed. We instead put a link in there to the one from mvps.org, at http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm. That one is sound, and regularly updated.

Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. I saw your blog post just now and posted a comment to it with this information in it. I really am sorry. I wish I had taken the time to evaluate this file just like I tested all the other software I wrote for the book …

I got the Safari site taken down too. Thanks for letting me know about it. I really am sorry for any trouble this caused… Jesper M. Johansson” 

Dr. Johansson is a highly respected security guru, a Senior Program Manager for Security Policy at Microsoft.  Clearly, this was on oversight in the 11th hour heat of getting a book out.  

In short, an honest and forgivable mistake.  Fortunately, the distribution of the rogue hosts file is probably limited. 

You gotta feel for this guy.

Alex Eckelberry