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I have a precise32 (ubuntu 12.04) vagrant vm running on my system. If i try to ping a random string, eg ping "thisip.doesnot" it resolves to an IP 198.105.254.228 . This is try for any other random string i put in. Why does this happen? How can i change this behaviour and make it respond "ping: unknown host thisip.doesnot"

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Because your ISP is hijacking your DNS queries.

They are trying to be "helpful" by redirecting requests for nonexistent domains to a white label service that provides search results and advertising, from which everyone but you gets a cut of the revenue.

Fortunately they do have a preferences page where you can supposedly turn it off.

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  • take a look at this article: howtogeek.com/167239/7-reasons-to-use-a-third-party-dns-service – Keltari Nov 7 '14 at 3:44
  • This infuriates me, as much as the ads on [unnamed ISP]'s webmail page. I pay too much for this ISP as it is. I had even specified one of the free public DNS servers from Google (8.8.8.8) as my primary and relegated the ISP's DNS to secondary. However, the result is the same: primary fails to resolve, so your system tries the secondary, which instead of returning error & failing the request (as a DNS should), returns the IP address of the ad site. This particular ISP, despite being huge, must be getting desperate... or just greedy! – electromaggot Sep 12 '15 at 7:54

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