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Tim Merrigan

Mar 19, 2021, 9:53:13 PM3/19/21
Chris Haily has asked that the following be posted here:

The ASSTR server is indeed alive, but the host name is not resolving
to the IP address. Why, I'm not sure, but it is definitely the case.

The IP address is In my experience, if I just put this
IP in my browser, I get a 403 error. However, if I add the IP address
to my hosts file, BAM. Access.

This isn't all that helpful for people who are unaware of the magic
trick, but it does work, for those of you who might want to try it.
The windows hosts file is at c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts,
Linux is /etc/hosts, I don't know about mac or how to do this on
phones at this point, but open the hosts file in a text editor and add
the line

And you will be able to access ASSTR again. You will most likely get a
security warning because the certificate is out of date, but there's
no harm in clearing that and proceeding to the site.

Those of you who are interested, you can also FTP into the site using
this IP address.

Qualified immuninity = vertual impunity.

Tim Merrigan

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Y Lee Coyote

Mar 19, 2021, 11:17:16 PM3/19/21
On Fri, 19 Mar 2021 18:53:09 -0700, Tim Merrigan <> wrote in
Thank you -- it does work.

(to also get sftp access)

A couple of points
1- You must be in administrative mode
2- Make sure you have write access to the file
3- ZoneAlarm, for one, "locks" the file so under the firewall goto setting
and advance settings.


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Y Lee Coyote

Mar 20, 2021, 4:54:41 AM3/20/21
On Fri, 19 Mar 2021 23:17:08 -0400, Y Lee Coyote
<> wrote in

Beside these three in the hosts file.

One also needs

It does not work in my TOR browser but that is what I expected. Perhaps
there is a way. I don't know.

Mar 20, 2021, 11:52:45 AM3/20/21
Thank you for your excellent advice.

For further information, refer to the Wikipedia article:

I notice that the ASSTR site is now actually rather faster than it normally is: no doubt because there is virtually no one actually able to access the site and the site traffic is down to very nearly zero.

Note also the system status ( The official status of almost everything is "Major Outage" (even though you can still reach most of them after editing the hosts file).

I estimate that the outage took place about midnight on Wednesday 17th March.

Has anyone got a theory as to why that should be?


Mar 21, 2021, 12:36:48 AM3/21/21
I can't speak to why the outage in the first place, but according to the "whois" information for the domain, the registrar (google) has added a "Server hold" to the domain (

To use an analogy, when your computer says "Where do I find" everything tells it to ask Google, and Google says "I know who that is, but I'm not going to tell you."

The domain also seems to have "serverRenewProhibited", "serverTransferProhibited", "serverUpdateProhibited", and "serverDeleteProhibited" on it. It's possible that there's an innocuous reason for them, but in combination with the hold it's also possible that there's some legal or law enforcement action that led Google to lock it down.

Anonymous User

Mar 24, 2021, 6:06:34 AM3/24/21
I seem to remember this is how Google shut down that white nationalist website a few years back -- by illegally seizing their domain name and setting it so they couldn't transfer it to other domain registrars, using the same flags. serverTransferProhibited and serverRenewProhibited means that ASSTR isn't allowed to move to a different domain registrar, and they can't renew the domain name so when it expires in a few months, it's gone.

Given the fact that ASSTR hosts some content that would be considered "problematic" to the Authoritarian hipsters down at Google, could we possibly be seeing someone at Google deciding to simply shut down ASSTR by fiat? Did the woke moralists finally come for the erotica they didn't like?

The other obvious answer is a legal seizure by the FBI or something, but traditionally the FBI redirects the domain to a legal seizure announcement.

Y Lee Coyote

Mar 24, 2021, 8:18:12 AM3/24/21
Since you don't know anything about what is happening it would be best if
you did not create conspiracy theories which can just harm the site.

I've been told by a reliable source the issue is being worked on and is
nothing like what your devils suggest.

Jonathan Berman

Jul 21, 2022, 6:56:47 AM7/21/22
The site has been down again this year for a few months and the hosts file trick will not work,
so maybe they got the site shut down for good.

Chris H

Jul 22, 2022, 10:50:20 AM7/22/22
On Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 5:56:47 AM UTC-5, Jonathan Berman wrote:
> The site has been down again this year for a few months and the hosts file trick will not work,
> so maybe they got the site shut down for good.

It's not been down for a few months. It's been, like, what, about a week? Maybe two I suppose.

The reason the hosts file trick doesn't work now is because this isn't a DNS problem. That doesn't mean that the site has been "shut down." It just means that it's a different problem. DNS is working fine, and it appears that the ISP is forwarding requests to the server just fine, too, because we have scattered reports of successful contact with the server (and also, it takes a super long time to time out, which implies that there's something responding, but that its dropping tons of packets). That most likely means a networking problem, which could possibly be fixed by simply rebooting the server, although it might be a hardware problem, everything from a failing NIC to the whole thing is hosed.
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