It’s recently been discovered that leading game developers have packaged software called Red Shell with their games. Red Shell is a tracking software that developers originally thought was harmless and only collected basic data. It turns out, Red Shell collects a lot more data than developers originally thought and gamers aren’t happy about it. Many developers have started to remove Red Shell but not all of them have. If you play a game that hasn’t removed it just yet, you can block Red Shell from phoning home.

To block Red Shell, you can add the servers it phones home to, to the host file, and block them. When the servers cannot be accessed, Red Shell will not be able to send the data it’s collected to its home servers and then sell it to third parties.

Block Red Shell

Red Shell is a problem on Windows, Mac, and Linux so if you game on any of these platforms, and your game(s) of choice is still using Red Shell, you should block it.

Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10

Open Notepad with administrative rights. You can do this by searching for it in Windows search, right-click it, and select Run as administrator. Alternatively, open the run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut, and type Notepad, and hit the Ctrl+shift+Enter.

In Notepad, go to FileOpen. In the Open file box, go to the following location, and select the Hosts file. Make sure you change the file type from text files to all files.

C:WindowsSystem32driversetc

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if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf(“Mac”)!=-1) document.write(”);

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In the hosts file, add the following at the very end. Make sure each one is on its own line.

0.0.0.0 redshell.io
0.0.0.0 api.redshell.i
o 0.0.0.0 treasuredata.com
0.0.0.0 in.treasuredata.com

macOS

On macOS, open the Terminal and enter the following command;

sudo nano /etc/hosts

Tap enter, and authenticate with your administrator password. This will open the Nano text editor and load the hosts file.

Enter the following at the very end;

0.0.0.0 redshell.io api.redshell.io
0.0.0.0 treasuredata.com api.treasuredata.com

Save the change with the Control+O keyboard shortcut, and close it.

Linux

On Linux, open the Terminal and run the following command.

sudo nano /etc/hosts

You will need to authenticate with the administrator password. Paste the following at the very end, and save the change with the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut.

0.0.0.0 redshell.io api.redshell.io
0.0.0.0 treasuredata.com api.treasuredata.com

That’s all you need to do. It might be a good idea to flush the DNS on your system. It might resolve any errors that might arise after editing the hosts file. It might also be a good idea to restart your system.