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:
The problem is that the default installation of MS OSes (like the Pro/Server versions of 2000/XP) comes with those services (HTTP/FTP/SMTP/???) turned on and running by default. The good news is that MS has recently indicatedthey would be locking these down by default.
Sure XP/2K might not be your typical home setup, but 95/98/ME had their own set of vunerabilities. The l33t k1dz will go for _any_ vunerability and the best way to cut out _most_ types of attacks is a firewall and ZA is an inexpensive solution.
Personally, I've gone the ZA & Linksys router combo and it works great.
Had the freebie for a few years and decided to buy the "Pro" version.
It's got a few more bells and whistles, doesn't cost much ($20?) and avoids the pop-up "buy me" ads.
I wonder why million of ports are getting probed every day? Could it be because of ignorant people who don't close their ports? Making their systems vulnerable to zombies that can then go out and probe another million ports.
Sometimes, ignorant people need to be scared, to get them off of their dead @sses and take some responsibility for their corner of the internet.
I agree that a port probe doesn't equal a DOS attack, but, it is an attack, none the less.
Slackers make my life difficult every day. Those ignorant souls that don't secure their email servers from relays, help fuel the mountain of spam my organization deals with every day. Those that don't secure their servers and desktops systems from zombies, just insure we'll have more Code Reds and DOS attacks.
I run Windoze 95 with lots of stuff , netcaptor, outlook(MS), Notetab lite,flyswat, Norton, etc. in 256M so I get starved for memory and lock up. When I do Cntrl, alt del first time Zonealarm always shows as the active guy, but I think that is in error. I just think I have an overloaded system. am working to change that!
Each of these applications has features that, when combined, make a great privacy suite.
1. Zone Alarm.
Use all of the firewall features. Disable the privacy features (cookie control & ad elimination). You can still turn on cookie blocking at the firewall for selected programs if you wish.
2. Internet Security 4.0
I'm really interested in Guard Dog, but McAfee has bundled all their programs into this one suite, so I get them all and just use what I want.
Guard Dog has an active privacy watcher that will prompt you when personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, account number, etc., go over the web. It will also prompt you when programs launch other programs or try to access the web. You can allow access once or always, or deny access once or always. Guard Dog will also block 3-rd party cookies (cookies from sites you haven't visited) and also delete cookies from un-bookmarked sites at the end of each browser session.
Don't use Guard Dog's ad blocking.
3. Ad Subtract
Intermute's Ad Subtract will block all pop-ups and banner ads, as well as block cookies, animations, music and images. It will also stop "referrers:" sites that open up other sites. You can customize what is blocked by site.
4. Other Bundled Software
With McAfee's Internet Security 4.0, you also get VirusScan 6.0, Firewall, Safe & Sound, QuickClean Lite, and Shredder. VirusScan did well in catching the recent klez virus, and updates its virus signature file automatically each week. The Firewall works well, but I thought it was performing slower than Zone Alarm when all the security features are turned on. Safe & Sound is a utility that will automatically back up selected files to another location. You can set it to back up to another drive or another directory, and set the interval anywhere from 30 minutes to real-time mirroring. QuickClean Lite is a garbage eliminator. Shredder is an enhanced DELETE program which overwrites deleted files many times with random values and scrambles the directory entries.
Many tools have similar features, but I really like how Guard Dog blocks indirect cookies and automatically deletes cookies from non-bookmarked sites at the end of each session. Other tools require you to manually select what to delete. Ad Subtract stops all the eyesores and extra clicks to close unwanted windows. VirusScan is as good as any other virus program, and is bundled with Guard Dog. The Firewall is as good as Zone Alarm, so you could use it instead if you wish.
This is true. In the past I always had Microsoft Messenger start up with Windows. Even when I would sign out, but leave the icon in the taskbar I noticed through ZoneAlarm messenger was still uploading. This of course is using memory even though the program was turned off. Now I completely shut it down; after I check my e-mail I exit the program.
Still I wondered, what information could have been getting uploaded to Microsoft? It's not that I'm paranoid or anything about it, but it just seemed strange.
It's all there. Just being used by Windows. Can't remember how much mine shows but it is a little less than the 512 I have. 98SE is better than the previous versions about giving back memory. But it's not always Windows' fault. Many apps running under Windows are horrible about leaking memory. We have one at work called MetaViewer that almost always requires a reboot after use. A tidbit many folks don't realize is that the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar takes a meg of memory just to sit on your desktop. Insane.
The only thing I can think of is if the window won't close, try the ctrl/alt/delete keys to shut it. You also might want to reboot and try it again. If you still have problems with it, uninstall and then reinstall the program. Maybe you forgot to do something in the configuration setup.
I need to know the answer because I will be using norton Professional on my new machine when I get it going! Would prefer to stay with Zonelab for windows XP Pro.
That created, for me, the weirdest, most bazaar visual you could imagine. My computer would never do such a thing.
Of course, its protected by Zone Alarm as well.