If anyone wanted to try Linux for a long time, but just never had a good reason to - now is as good time as any to do this.

@anna @drq Win10 will treat the hosts file malicious if there are any mentions of Microsoft servers now

@anna @drq It was a long time coming, actually. The signs were there when M$ turned the poor thing into a service.

@bleakgrey @drq on one hand i watch enough scambaiters to see why there is kind of a justifiable reason for this, on the other hand lmao that this is obviously a way to keep you from blocking their telemetery


Да это просто охуеть, извините за мой французский.

@drq Ya! You can learn to edit arcane text files all the time just to get basic functionality!

@drq эй, друг @Revertron ! Зацени какой шикарный шрифт на этом окне! Только не перепутай - это хороший шрифт, говеные шрифты у линуксойдов =)

@drq Типа не дает изменить host файл?

As an experienced Linux user and occasional windows hater working in cybersec, I do think that this is a brilliant feature.

Imagine someone plugging in a badusb acting as a keyboard, typing a malicious payload into the notepad. AV will have a very hard time spotting the malware since it was user written and unless it triggers some kind of behavioral heuristic, the chances are it will go unnoticed. M$ just attempts to lower the attack surface. For example, when it comes to users that do not have a dedicated AV software and rely solely on windows defender, blocking access to M$ domains would cut off updates of the virus signatures. That's certainly not something an average Joe wants or will do.

Granted, it can also be used to bypass a windows license check.

@dyske blocking MS domains is used to bypasd Windows' built-in spyware.

@dyske @drq It happened before, yes. However hosts file required administrative rights to be edited. Even if user runs as admin it still should trigger UAC.
device masking itself as HID will just send LefKey, Enter keystrokes. UAC won't really help you.
@dyske @drq @shuro Still it needs admin privileges.

When something can run as admin, there are countless ways of interfering with the system.

Anyway I'll test it myself sometime. If hosts file is protected against all edits, it makes sense, otherwise MS just tries to make disabling features users don't want harder.
ok. I've booted into windows and tried it. Surprise, surprise the screenshot is fake. Interestingly enough it did not block requests to the m$ website. Static dns entry perhaps.

How could I forget that we are on the internet.

@dyske Hm. Should I take it down? It's not mine anyway.

However, the fact that not many people would put this bullshit past Microsoft, tells a lot about MS.


nah. It's pretty funny. And something tells me that one day they will add such a dialog. After Apple does so first :)
@dyske @drq @shuro I just tried it on clean Windows machine. It is not fake. Here's screen from it.

Also I didn't respond to the Defender's prompt before it disappeared (in about twenty seconds?) and then hosts file reverted to clean form. And yes, it is "" entry that triggered it, I tried adding "" first and it was fine.

@dyske Oh shit, man, goddamn. I almost deleted the OP.

@shuro Thanks.

So they really ARE trying to prevent people from disabling annoying Windows Updates and intrusive Telemetry.

@shuro @drq hm... that's strange. My install wasn't clean by any means, but sure had the latest updates. And yet no dialog appeared.

Is the domain really blocked? As in: it does not resolve to proper IP? Maybe I'll spin up a fresh VM.
@dyske @drq @shuro It is version 2004 (19041,388).

Maybe it just glitches, maybe Defender has to be the only AV software on the system (as I know some of third-party software automatically disable Defender partly or completely).

Also the dialog didn't appear on file save (at this moment Defender warning popped up) but when I tried to open the hosts file again before doing anything with Defender.

And yes, no effect on actual name resolution, it seems to be hardcoded.
oh so it was not part of the security update, but a feature one (I had those disabled).
Gah now I'm waiting for the update to download. But still then my point about protecting an average windows user stands. If you want control why would you even use a proprietary system?

Thanks for checking though.
@dyske @drq @shuro Yes, sure.
However I don't think "proprietary" automatically means "no control". It just means you can't change how it works internally but it doesn't mean it should restrict user how to use it.

E.g. car can be seen as proprietary (can't really change much or it is illegal or you lose warranty, etc) however it doesn't restrict you where to drive. Imagine having a car which refuses to drive in high risk district - for your safety of course :) It would make sense for an average user perhaps but still most would see it as very wrong.

Same here.
@shuro @drq I agree with you, but the first statement contradicts itself a bit.

If I can't change how it works internally, it does restrict me if the way I want to use it is to change it.

Essentially a car that won't start once you swap a part for one that isn't certified by the manufacturer.
@dyske @drq @shuro Yes, and a lot of devices and software are exactly like this these days.

Personally I draw the line between internal functioning which is limited to the device itself and only it - and external functioning which affects other things.

Proprietary devices (both physical or virtual) can have internal functions closed from the user. Like requiring certified parts, not accepting patches, etc.

However they shouldn't do anything outside without user permission. Like telemetry.

> If you want control why would you even use a proprietary system?

The thing is, people do in fact want control. My point was to show how they're chipping away your control on the proprietary systems, little by little, until there's nothing left in the end, and the only true way to regain the control is to use free software.


Do they?
To like to be in control and to actually want to be in control are 2 separate things. People want something that Just Works™ if it means sacrificing control over the origin of the software (app store only), control over certain settings (non-root access on phones), or control over hardware (airpods anyone?) the average user (not most people here) doesn't really care.

Why do people stick with Facebook (incl. whatsapp & Instagram) or Twitter if they were shown time and time again that they are not in control of their data? Because as sad as it is, they don't care enough to switch services.

For a regular user the main expectation they have on the operating system is to open a browser. I do not mean this is any kind of disrespectful way, it's just the way it is. Swap the windows with Ubuntu and some will notice after a few days.

> Because as sad as it is, they don't care enough to switch services.

No, it's because of network effect.
A lot of people would readily switch services if people who they connect with using said services did the same.

Nobody 'wants' Facebook. Not many are using Facebook just because Facebook logo turns them on. Everybody wants to talk to their friends.


@dyske @drq @shuro Also there is nothing wrong with "Just Works". Most people want exactly this, I agree.

In fact I think everyone wants things that just work. People might want to make an exception for things they are enthusiastic about but for everything else "Just Works" always wins.

This should be kept in mind when considering anything as a mainstream solution.
@drq Там именно на домены MICROS~1 сейчас триггер? Или на любые правки?

Не в курсе, но если я правильно понял, то да, на микрософт.

@drq I just tested this on my windows 10 laptop. Not only did it give the same "error" message, but it also reset my hosts file to default. 🗡️

@drq @artilectzed Yep, it gives some time to respond to Defender popup and then resets.

It can get funny if someone has a lot of other records in this file because it seems like they are lost without backup.
@shuro @drq @artilectzed ppl were warned Windoze was bad a long ago. since it only got worse.


I hate Windows with a passion, but given my current work situation, I have to keep it as the host OS on this laptop right now :/

@shuro @drq

@iron_bug @shuro @drq @artilectzed switch to Linux. I did this many years ago and haven't seen Windoze for over 12 years by now.
@iron_bug @drq @shuro @artilectzed Not sure what your work is but I ended up running small VM with Windows for Win-only things.

I still have double boot but I load Windows very rarely these days.

@shuro Database admin in a Windows-only shop.
The bios is locked down so I can't boot it off other things.
Screwing with it for a dual boot would be grounds for termination. @iron_bug @drq

@iron_bug @drq @shuro @artilectzed Ouch. Not very employee-friendly. I mean it makes sense to lock down corporate devices which are given to users and are on IT support but locking down admin laptops (which have local admin privilege anyway) is kind of weird.

Myself I don't really hate Windows, it has its niche so far. But I like choice.

@shuro It's frustrating given that only one piece of my tool chain doesn't have a linux port at this point, but they do pay me pretty damn well, so... yeah. @iron_bug @drq

@shuro @drq Luckily the things I had in there on this machine weren't too essential and only a few, but it just feels user-hostile to do that. It might look different to me given other situations that I would never actually fall into, but I'm not a fan of it.

@drq Sorry - Could you explain what's going on in this image - for a friend of mine who doesn't get it.

@david Attempt to null-route via hosts file fails with an obviously bullshit explanation.

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