I use a big honkin’ Hosts file to point requests for known ad-servers to a fake IP address.
Sometime during the last few weeks, I started noticing ads from doubleclick.net servers were getting through.
At first, I thought that it was just them adding newly-named servers, so I just kept opening my hosts file and adding the offending server to the bottom of the list, eg: “0.0.0.0 m23.doubleclick.net”
I did that a couple of times, until I noticed that one of them that I knew I’d blocked previously, with a subdomain of “ad3.”
I looked a little closer and noticed that every single reference to a doubleclick server had been remarked out. (More than thirty of them, eesh!)
It seems most likely to me that this sort of thing would happen after installing dodgy freeware, but I don’t recall downloading anything apart from the latest version of DivX recently.
I know that DivX has been in bed with Gator, so I wouldn’t put this sort of thing past them, but whatever did this left the Gator servers blocked, and I don’t see any mention of DivX installs altering your hosts file in a cursory web and usenet search.
Anyone else had this experience? Any ideas on who I ought to hunt down and beat into submission for this outrage?
What is the point of this invasive action? Do they really think that someone who has taken the time to specifically block their crap ad servers by name is going to respond positively having that change undone, and motor over to classmates.com? Argh.
I fixed the file and tagged it read-only, but I suspect that folks that would feel comfortable editing your system files may not shrink from changing their attributes, either.