Pinion.gg is a gaming advertising business that’s probably best known for inserting annoying HTML ads into your favourite game.
I came across them on the GamersUN TF2 servers.
GamersUN runs a mod that forces you to have HTML MOTDs enabled if you want to play on their servers. If you disable HTML MOTDs the mod stops you from joining a team as well as generally being annoying by hijacking all your number keys. The reason they do this is because they run Pinion.gg’s video ads in the HTML MOTD.
You can block this easily by simply adding the following to your Hosts file:
In Windows, edit C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts (it’s just a text file so you can use Notepad but make sure you run Notepad as Administrator otherwise you won’t be able to save the file)
Note: Windows 8 users must exempt the Hosts file from Windows Defender; read this article for details.
On a Mac you can edit /etc/hosts adding the same entry above.
This is completely harmless as all it says is that if your PC tries to connect to motd.pinion.gg that the IP is 127.0.0.1 which is your PC’s local address. So instead of loading ad HTML the connection will just fail.
I’ll keep this blog updated with new hosts as Pinion updates their service.