For the past week or so I was having random redirect issues. It was actually happening when I was checking this website (willstare.com). I finally had enough and did some scans on my PC. One of them scanned my HOSTS file and spit out a little nugget for me. Somehow I had an entry for pagead2.googlesyndication.com pointing toward 18.104.22.168. That was obviously not supposed to be there, so I did some digging to find out who that IP was.
It turns out it was a website based in the Netherlands called http://www.devianceprojects.com/. I still have no idea how that got there, but I will be more vigilant while cruising the web. I emailed the administrators for that site asking if they had any idea why that entry would be in my hosts file, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. I will update this is I get any more information. I have included my hosts file below to show what it looked like.
# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp. # # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows. # # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name. # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one # space. # # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol. # # For example: # # 22.214.171.124 rhino.acme.com # source server # 126.96.36.199 x.acme.com # x client host # localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself. # 127.0.0.1 localhost # ::1 localhost 188.8.131.52 pagead2.googlesyndication.com