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JamesSavik

FLASH for Zone Alarm Users!

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For users of the popular free firewall: last night July 9th, Microsoft pushed out a bad update. Once installed, Zone Alarm firewall will not allow any connection to the web.

Cure: disable zone alarm by right-clicking on it in the system tray. A menu will come up- pick disable zone alarm. Internet connectivity will return immediately.

Got to www.zonealarm.com for details on how to fix zone alarm.

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James;

Thanks for the heads up. Nice to see that the Zonealarm guys are on the ball, unlike those people in Redmond, WA.

I experienced this lovely issue. I did some checking with co-workers who also had the problem, and found that the update to the Malware removal tool set all the firewall permissions in Zonealarm to ask first or to deny.

According to a co-worker, change the permissions back to allow, and adjust your security slider for the internet zone to medium and everything supposedly works again. I'm downloading the Zonealarm patch just to be on the safe side though.

Now the big question is why Microsquash didn't test this out before pushing it into the user community.

Hmmm, perhaps it's a Microsquash plot to discredit Zonealarm so they can take over that market segment, hmmm. :icon_twisted:

Rick

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Now the big question is why Microsquash didn't test this out before pushing it into the user community.

Because they don't test much of anything. Seriously.

One of the biggest reasons I hate them so much. Their idea of "beta" is to post it on the web and let people report bugs (or release it to select groups of clients). Very little internal testing. Problem is people don't really test what needs to be tested.

That's not "testing"

Then they release software that has more holes than swiss cheese and are surprised.

I could go on, but I won't.

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My personal computer guru, Leo Laporte, insists that software firewalls like Zone Alarm are useless. He says that many viruses will automatically go in, detect a software firewall, and turn them off. Only a hardware firewall, like a router, will really protect you from viruses that are trying to communicate in the background on the net.

There's a good discussion of Zombie Computers here on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_computer

Very scary stuff.

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I perfer the defense in depth approach: Hardware firewall, software firewall, anti-virus and I use 2 anti-spyware products.

Most people do very little. The harder you make it, the easier it is for nefarious hackers to go elsewhere. Unfortunately now the problem are bots which have inhuman patience.

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It may well be that Microsoft has simply, not tested the software.

However, this looks to me like more of the Microsoft Vista, 'deliberately make it useless' mentality.

On the issue of firewalls, I too have been advised that running a software firewall and a hardware (router) firewall can be counter-productive and actually interfere with each other.

I discarded Zone Alarm when I got rid of Norton Anti-Virus a couple of years ago. Zone Alarm was also a resource hog in my opinion and not worth the trouble.

The Windows XP firewall and my router do seem to play together okay, and running either both or just the router shows my computer as running in 'stealth' mode (and is seemingly not in existence,) at the test site: SheildsUp

Do make sure that your router does act as an effective hardware firewall. It seems not all routers are equal in this regard.

SheildsUp might be of help in determining your vulnerability.

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My personal computer guru, Leo Laporte, insists that software firewalls like Zone Alarm are useless. He says that many viruses will automatically go in, detect a software firewall, and turn them off. Only a hardware firewall, like a router, will really protect you from viruses that are trying to communicate in the background on the net.

He's correct. Software firewalls are ALMOST as useless as tits on a bull. If it's your only option, use it. But software can easily be hacked. Hardware is far more complex because you can't have code change a program that's burnt into a chip -- you have to work around it.

However, in my international travels, I do install one. My trips to China invariable result in massive attempts to get into my laptop. It's quite amusing. Also, software firewalls slow your computer down a GREAT deal.

At home it's hardware only for me. (And please, change your default password on your router. And if it's wireless use WEP or better with password. I've travelled all over the USA and never paid for internet use because some idiot always has an open connection in every hotel I've ever been at. I'm nice and don't abuse it -- just check email. )

If you think open wireless is a good idea, when someone uses YOUR connection and downloads something illegal like, say, kiddie porn, and the FBI knocks on your door, you're going to have a nearly IMPOSSIBLE time proving it wasn't you. Go to jail.

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My trips to China invariable result in massive attempts to get into my laptop. It's quite amusing.

Whoa! Wibby, you are a man of mystery. I had no idea you'd been across the ocean to China.

I spent a couple of days in Hong Kong and a full day in Korea once, and both were extraordinary experiences. I came away with a completely enlightened opinion about how the world works, especially in 3rd-world places like this. I was telling people around 1985 -- "watch out... these Chinese guys are gonna build stuff so cheap and so well-made, they're gonna blow all the other electronics manufacturers away." Go into a Wal-Mart or Target and count the Chinese vs. American products there today.

Lastly: I used a Mac laptop ever day during my stay in Italy for three months in 2004, and never had a problem. No viruses, no spyware, no hacking, no nothing. I may have been lucky. If I had known what I know now, I would used some kind of anonymizer/encryption system to protect my email passwords and stuff, but things did go OK. Things are scarier today. Laporte was with a security expert on a recent show, sitting in an airport lounge, and the guy showed him about ten passwords he was able to grab from nearby passengers. Yeeeesh...

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Methinks the raccoon is a spy- I wonder if he'll favor us with a few stories? Raccoons are a natural for the trade as they are born with a mask and raccoons are found everywhere.

My respects sir for your travels in China. Had you been captured, they would have had you for dinner with sweet & sour sauce.

Been to Japan in my Army brat daze with stopovers in the Philippines but Pop was primarily based in Germany. I am interested in visiting Hong Kong. Visited Singapore on business in 1989. Kinda wish I'd stayed longer- it was beautiful... as was the eye candy. ;)

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Methinks the raccoon is a spy- I wonder if he'll favor us with a few stories?

I've seen parts of China almost no Westerners have ever seen and what I've seen would blow you away. We all see modern China, and we all see rural China. Very few people see industrial China and the havoc it has wrought. This is off this topic though so that's all I'll say.

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