Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and Windows Hosts file

Many years ago, before the Internet, the translation between computer names and numbers was done by a file on each computer called the "hosts" file. Needless to say, as the number of computers got large, maintaining a hosts file on every computer became unrealistic. Now, when a computer’s called on to reference another computer by […]

Many years ago, before the Internet, the translation between computer names and numbers was done by a file on each computer called the "hosts" file. Needless to say, as the number of computers got large, maintaining a hosts file on every computer became unrealistic. Now, when a computer’s called on to reference another computer by name, it first makes a call into the DNS system to retrieve the underlying IP address. By default, the hosts file is used before DNS, a poor design decision by Microsoft. Protecting the hosts file from modification is thus a standard practice for antispyware software. Steve Gibson uses ‘hosts’ file for its original intent, and one day when he couldn't reference some computers by name, he tracked down the problem to Microsoft's new Security Essentials (MSE), which gave him a new empty file after making a backup of the original. For more information listen embeded podcast or read complete text here.