A DNS helps in resolving a URL that you type into the address bar of your browser into a corresponding IP address. DNS stands for Domain Name System. Other than the DNS services, you have a local copy of most frequently used websites on your computer. To avoid delay in resolving the IP addresses, Windows creates a local HOSTS file containing the websites you often visit. Sometimes, a malicious code may change these IP addresses in the HOSTS file, to direct to some sites, that may install Command and Control spambots.
This article reviews Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot, as the creators of this software claim they have a list of such malicious websites (which is updated on a regular basis). If your computer requests any such BOT-spreading malicious website, Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot won’t let the computer process such request by blocking those sites and also the sites that you put in the restricted sites list.
Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot
In the above image, just as an example, I added www.yahoo.com to restricted sites and hence I got the message. You can add any site to the list of restricted websites. This part works properly.
Read: What is a Botnet.
Protect Windows from BOT infections
When you click the Download button, you will be presented with terms and conditions window. The page says Phrozensoft Antibot 3.0 will automatically update your HOST file. It fetches its data from www.abuse.ch. The data, according to Phrozensoft, is information that helps in identifying malicious IP addresses that act as Command and Control Point by Zeus, SpyEye and Palevo malware.
The website also says, that you can create your own rules using passwords so as to block certain websites on your children’s computer.
When you click on Download, it is equivalent to accepting the terms and conditions for usage of Phrozensoft Anti Bot. It downloads in less than a minute on 1.6 GHz computer. You get a zip file that contains the setup file. You already know how to install programs so I’ll end this section here.
Update The Hosts File
The first time you run the Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot, it does not update the HOSTS file. You have to do it manually. To do that, click on Mirage menu tab and click Update. You will get a window as shown in the image below:
It hardly takes few moments to update your HOSTS file. It also includes the names of sites that contain malicious code to install spambot. Remember that you won’t get any pop-up notification. If you attempt to reach any malicious or manually restricted website, all you get is a message in the browser, as shown in image 1 above.
Changing the Default Settings
I would recommend turning on the program with your Windows 8. In other words, make it a startup program (you may delay it by few seconds or a minute or two) as it does not use much of resources, plus you will be safer compared to opening websites when Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot is not running.
When you enable “Start with Windows“, you can see an icon in the system taskbar. You can update your HOSTS file directly from the system tray icon. Left-clicking on the Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot system tray icon will open up the main window of the program from where you can access all the options and also set up the program to log the websites blocked. Just click the button to make it ON. By default it is OFF.
From the Mirage tab in the menu bar, you can access and change the settings of the programs. You can also right click on the Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot icon in the system tray and select Settings. Below is the screenshot of what all options are available.
The password part is to protect the program by being used by others to allow the websites you manually added to restricted sites.
Adding Custom Sites To Anti-Bot
This is an easy process. Click on Manage Hosts, the second option on the Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot 3.0 main window. You will get an option called Custom Hosts. Click on that and then click on CREATE CATEGORY. Name the category to anything you like (For example: Games, Adult sites etc.). Now to start adding websites, click on ADD HOSTS. The interface is simple as shown in the below image.
Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot Verdict
I found it useful as it helps keep away from spambots. It also offers website restrictions, meaning you can restrict or block websites individually as against the Content Advisor in the Internet Options. The latter may work or not depending upon the website. But with Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot 3.0, it sure does the job. I am keeping it on my computer.
If you have different views or wish to add something to this review of Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot, please share with us using the comment boxes below.
To download Phrozensoft Mirage Anti-Bot, please click here.