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Hosts File access

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Hi,

I'm using Windows 10. I've just started using Bitdefender after using Kaspersky for many years. In the light of the current circumstances I decided to uninstall Kaspersy for obvious reasons.

I am a developer and I need to be able to switch my hosts file at the click of a button. I had written a program to do this and it has been working fine with Kaspersky for years, although I had to explicitly give it rights to change out the hosts file. However, now it seems I am unable to programatically make changes to the hosts file with Bitdefender running.

I am using Bitdefender Total Security. When I've searched for answers to this I've seen instructions to stop scanning of the hosts file by going to: General Settings > Advanced tab > "Scan hosts file" button.

This button is not available in my version of Bitdefender.

I have tried adding the path to the hosts file folder (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc) and the path to the hosts file (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) to exceptions but the program still fails to access the hosts file. I also added my program that manipulates the hosts file to the exceptions.

How can I grant access and allow the software I have written to manipulate the hosts file on my machine?

I can't believe that it is not possibe. It was straight forward with Kaspersky!

I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

Thanks.

Comments

  • Hello, I am also experiencing issues as such. I am very interested in an answer from support.

  • Alexandru_BD
    Options

    Hello,

    The button has been moved under Protection -> Vulnerabilty:

    Make sure you have the latest update installed, as it was not displayed here on the previous version.

    By default, Bitdefender performs automatic updates when you turn on your computer and every hour after that.

    To manually update the Bitdefender security solution installed on your Windows computer, follow the steps below:

    1. Right-click the Bitdefender icon in the System Tray, and then select the Update Now option from the menu. You can refer to the image below for help if you have difficulties finding the Bitdefender icon in the Windows notification area.
    2. Bitdefender will start checking for product and signature updates.
    3. If new threat definitions or a newer build version are available, they are automatically downloaded and installed on your computer.

    Let us know if the information was helpful.

    Best regards.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • User345
    edited March 2022
    Options

    Hi @Alexandru_BD

    Thanks for directing me to the "Scan hosts file" option. However, switching this off does not fix my problem. I am still being blocked from programmatically altering the Hosts file. I've tried disabling every option in Bitdefender but there still seems to be a lock on the Hosts file that stops me altering it.

    Is it possible to switch on some sort of advanced real-time logging in BitDefender to actually see why it is being blocked?

    Thanks.

  • Alexandru_BD
    Options

    Hi,

    I would recommend contacting the Technical Support Teams, as more information might be required to troubleshoot this. You can get in touch with our engineers by choosing one of the contact methods available here:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/

    Stay safe.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • ramasaig
    Options

    Editing the 'hosts' file in Windows (e.g. with Notepad) normally requires 'Administrator' privileges, is this your problem. Or have you set the 'hosts' file to be read only as part of the process of getting Bitdefender not to alter it?

  • I had the exact same problems as the people on this thread. Here are some notes:

    1. Custom lines in the hosts file were getting commented out. Changing Bitdefender's "Scan hosts file" to off fixed it. I wish Bitdefender had an option to store a new "signature" of the valid host file so I can turn the option back on, but it is what it is.
    2. Cannot edit the hosts file directly. And yes...I do have admin access. Instead of busting my brain trying to figure it, I just copy the file out of the etc\directory to a dummy location, edit it, and then copy it back. I of course back it up just in case. On a side note, it's probably better for me to leave the security this way as the file cannot be edited directly. I only modify the file once in a blue-moon anyway.
  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    edited December 2022
    Options

    Can you download and try using the software BlueLife Hosts Editor v1.4 from https://www.sordum.org/8266/bluelifehosts-editor-v1-4/ and see if it is able to add or remove entries from the windows host file.

    If issue persists,

    Generate bitdefender support tool logs (https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/1733/)

    Generate bitdefender connectivity logs (https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/9689/)

    Share the logs & your query with bitdefender support team by dropping them an email at bitsy@bitdefender.com

    The support team will reply back to your query within next 24-48 hours excluding weekends.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Gnarf
    Gnarf
    edited March 2023
    Options

    Hey, Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way for me. My host file was already edited. I have only changed the virus software and now I can no longer access my NAS via the names. The IPs work but the names in the host file it does not like. So did you do anything else?

    Thanks a lot.


    EDIT

    Now i got it. As soon as you activate the option "Scan hosts file", your own entries in the host file are commented out. So deactivated! So you have to disable the option and then change the file. The option must then also remain off because as soon as one activates this once again, he comments out the own entries again with a # before the entries.  

    Thanks a lot

  • pkss
    edited June 2023
    Options

    Switching off "Scan hosts file" is not the best option for persistently adding user specific addresses/names to the hosts file.

    I want the hosts file to be scanned, I just do not want my user specific lines beeing removed or deactivated.

    So please Bitdefender: Find a way to allow (and preserve) user-specific entries, but still have hosts file scanning active.

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    Options

    No antimalware provides this option. Either your host file will be scanned or it will not be scanned. There is no particular method by which only the host file will be scanned by excluding your specific addresses or names or ip.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Well, clearly there should be a way to make a "trusted snapshot" of hosts file and let Bitdefender scan it for changes compared to the snaphot, not "empty" file...

  • dgwinup
    Options

    Was banging my head against the wall and finally figured out Bitdefender was commenting out host file entries I manually made. Agree with NobodyIsHere - Bitdefender needs to

    a) provide a mechanism to allow host file updates and

    b) PUT IN A COMMENT THAT IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COMMENTING OUT ITEMS IN THE HOSTS FILE. Seriously - they've decided to write to the hosts file to make comments, so how hard would it have been to add a comment line saying that BITDEFENDER chose to comment out some entries?

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    Options

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Hello,

    I came across this post while helping a friend who is having problems with editing hosts files due to Bitdefender protection.

    I just want to provide my testimony about the behavior of a competing antimalware that protect against hosts modifications AND persists user changes (yes it exists): Avira.

    To be able to modify the file manually or by a program (which is the case for me with Docker), you just have to temporarily deactivate the protection, modify the file (or run the program which modifies it) then reactivate it. The changes made are persistent and the file is protected against modifications again (you can open it but can't save it, even as admin).

    As to whether this approach is the same or less effective as protection against malware, I have no idea.

    But if the Bitdefender team finds that it would provide an equivalent level of protection, then I think it could be an interesting improvement. (And if it provides less effective protection, then perhaps offer this option to advanced users as an alternative to how the protection currently works)

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    edited December 2023
    Options

    Currently, I am on leave. Henceforth, @Gjoksi@Scott@Alexandru_BD or @Mike_BD can follow up with you on this.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Chris Ch
    edited April 27
    Options

    I'm having the same problem. Recently switched from Avast and it took me a while to figure why this was happening. Starting to regret my switch to Bitdefender.

  • tig_bd
    Options

    I would like to echo the frustration others have expressed on this thread.

    I have to have an entry in my hosts file to print to my Xerox printer. However Bitdefender modifies the hosts file by inserting a '#' on the last line and then appends the lines discussed at https://www.reddit.com/r/antivirus/comments/1c6ywz8/found_domains_in_my_etchosts_that_i_didnt_add/. This has the bonus effect of breaking my printer, in addition to the unexpected network configuration changes for a VPN I don't use.

    Please honor existing entries in etc/hosts files!