Skip to comments.ZoneLabs: The Hot Stuff In Firewalls
Posted on 07/06/2002 7:53:41 AM PDT by ReaganwuzthebestEdited on 04/13/2004 2:16:32 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Despite the tech doldrums, this computer-security outfit has just secured $24.3 million in new VC funding, and sales are exploding.
Can you give something away and still make money? That was the way of the early Web, and few companies that charted that course in those treacherous waters lived to tell the tale. Then there's ZoneLabs, which started out in 1997 handing out free downloads of an advanced personal firewall.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessweek.com ...
Same story here. I first heard about it here on FR, maybe ZL should think about writing a check to JimRob. This story is nearly a advertisement.
I did upgrade to the 'Pro' version, seems like I paid $35. For me it was worth the money, I bounce my laptop through a bunch of domains, including work, home, hotel internet, etc. The Pro package totally eliminates all of the setup hassles. Plus, I had to disable the free version in the office, now the ZA Pro package just ignores the office.
Some on another thread enjoyed this link, Gibson Research. There's a lot of insight on why you need a firewall, online test to probe your firewall, and some interesting stories of online detective work from an oldtime internet pro.
BTW, if you have a cable modem or DSL and don't have a hardware or software firewall, you may as well let your computer have sex with Haitian males in a San Francisco bathhouse, while eating imported UK cow brains.
That can't be emphasized enough. If you've got broadband and you don't have some pretty serious firewall protection, your computer will get compromised. It's just a matter of how long it takes.
I use ZoneAlarm Pro and it's wonderful. The neat thing about ZA is that it is very easy to use, and also it has unique protection against "trojan horse" control programs. By default it doesn't let any program access the Internet, unless you tell ZA that it's OK for the program to do so. If the program changes at all--i.e., it's got a virus or trojan attached to it--ZA re-blocks it and asks you to approve it accessing the Internet, so you know something's up.
Using ZA on our two Windows computers (and I have a Linux box as well), behind our cable router, my wife and I feel fairly secure. Not hack-proof, by any means, but at least we feel moderately safe from the hordes of "3r33t scr1pt k1dd33z" running around out there.
OK, you owe me a new keyboard, I think the monitor will be alright with some cleaning. Told some folks yesterday it was like walking out of their house and leaving the door open but I like yours much better. Permission to use?
You're right about the free advertising ZL is getting here. I read about Pest Patrol here a couple weeks ago. Downloaded the trial version and loved it. Ponied up for the full version on Thursday.
Nope. Anybody can download a trojan or catch a virus (especially if your kids use the computer). ZoneAlarm will alert you to their attempts to "phone home" so you can clean them up. So, use it even on dial-up connections - at worst, it can't hurt.
The "buffer" you get from your ISP is that you get a different IP address everytime you dial up. That doesn't make you immune but it helps. The difference is that my cable modem only gets a new address every two weeks or if I power it off. If you spend as much time hooked up and reading FR as I do, you are still vulnerable. Hackers know that an ISP only has so many IP addresses to assign. They scan through them constantly looking for one that will let them in. It's easier for them to bang away at my cable modem than it is to find you on your dial up, but if they find you, they will try to get in.
All that said, you aren't as vulnerable as someone with an always on connection, but you can't have too much protection either. Zone Alarm and Pest Patrol costs $60. A good addition to your investment in virus protection which you should already have. Download the Pest Patrol freebee and let it scan your machine. If you find something you don't like, it's easier to convince yourself you need the software.
That may have been the case a year ago, but now I'd say go ahead and get the free version.
The hackers and script kiddies like broadband because the IP numbers rarely change, making it easy to get back in touch with their compromised hosts. They love the bandwidth, allowing them to do more damage to the targets of their real attack. The hackers want to use your computer as a foot soldier in a attack on a bigger target.
Some Zombies are programmed to 'phone home' to a newsgroup for new instructions. This would defeat any security gained by having new IP numbers on dialup.
Anyone using VPN (Virtual Private Networking) or tunneling over broadband to connect with the home office, without some kind of firewall, exposes their office network to the same dangers.
Hackers and ScriptKidz prey on vulnerabilities, most of which are present in SERVERS, not typical home systems. The average home user who keeps his Micro$oft system updated won't be vulnerable to an attack. His biggest vulnerability will still be email. Hackers don't sit around for hours trying to break "Joe Sixpack's" computer. They prey on known vulnerabilities in programs like Apache, BIND, IIS, SQL, and such.
Spend your time educating home users on the threat of emails rather than scaring them into useless firewalls. Millions of ports get probed everyday. It doesn't mean you're "under attack".
I have a broadband connection. I have Norton Antivirus and McAffee VirusScan running simultaneously on my PC. Both programs are set to automatically update once a week through a scheduler application.
I suspected I had a problem; the cable modem communication indicator was flashing constantly, even when I supposedly had no application accessing the internet. I was unsure if this was a problem because it had done this from the very first day my connection was activated. I also noticed an overall slowdown of my PC (easy enough to do on my old timey Pentium I). On the advice of fellow FReepers, I decided to try installing ZoneAlarm.
The minute I activated ZoneAlarm it sniffed out four trojans that neither AV application had been able to detect.
ZoneAlarm keeps a log file of unauthorized access attempts made on your system. The first day I used ZoneAlarm, the log file grew to half a Meg in size. My PC was being attacked big time, and I never knew it.
Since installing ZoneAlarm, the unauthorized access attempts gradually subsided after a month or so.
Many thanks to the original FReeper who gave me a clue; I am grateful. To those of you who don't have ZoneAlarm, my advice is: