hosts file – Pulse Secure VPN change the hostname on macOS. How and why does it do it? Is this a security concern?

Once I connect to Pulse Secure 9 VPN on macOS, my host name on Terminal changes. Checking on System Preferences > Network > Advanced... > WINS > NetBIOS Name this is where it’s being set. Why does and how does that happen? Is this a security concern?

Their KB19294 article says

Hosts file is modified/accessed when a VPN Tunneling client is launched
to ensure that the PCS hostname resolves to the same IP which it resolved to before the tunnel was launched

And it seems like my /etc/hosts gets over written and a /etc/pulse-hosts.bak gets created, but the host name is not set there.


  • Maybe my question already contains the partial answer, but it still doesn’t make sense to me.