yeah i got this the other day
I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn't actually infected. Most of us here work in the IT industry; if it can fool us (even for a second), then it will fool at lot of the users out there.
ZoneAlarm has run into criticism from its customers for using scary pop-up warnings as a marketing tactic designed to persuade users to purchase the paid-for version of its personal firewall. Users of the free version of the ZoneAlarm firewall are confronted with a "Global Virus Alert" about "ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq" containing a link …
For years people have been recommending zonealarm to me.
Last month i installed it on Win7, and not only did it corrupt my entire system with a bad driver, but i had to use a restore point to remove every single trace of it.
Zonealarm is toxic and is well known to cause a constant BSOD on Win7, yet there is NO useful support at all from them.
Hit em in the pocket and use another firewall, one which cares enough to listen to their customers
I could have sworn that, when installing an FTP server program on a Win7 machine, I received a ZoneAlarm style "do you wish to let this through the firewall" message from Windows itself?
I recall that ZoneAlarm didn't play nicely with CPs built-in firewall either but, then, XPs never stopped programs going out, only people trying to get in -- so ZoneAlarm could be worth the hassle.
Sad isn't it when a good product goes that way.
That's the way of the world me thinks.
But, for the moment, I can recommend Comodo free personal internet security package.
(I have no interest in the product, other than, like yourself, assisting less tech savy peeps).
The problem is that all the free security software out there is limitted, mostly because it is in effect a marketing tool for the fully featured product. OK so there are some exceptions to that but not many. So it doesn't matter if you're talking about Zone Alarm, Ad-Aware, Panda Cloud Antivirus or whatever, none of the free versions are *that* good otherwise nobody would buy the commercial version.
ZA used to be the dogs dangly parts, indeed the problem they had was that it was too good so people weren't bothering with the commercial version. It doesn't seem to have kept pace with the nasty stuff and it ain't foolproof. Cynics may suggest that this is a deliberate ploy to increase sales.
Essentially what it boils down to is that there is nothing free which is as good as the commercial offerings.
> Essentially what it boils down to is that there is nothing free which is as good as the commercial offerings.
> it is in effect a marketing tool for the fully featured product.
Those are facts of life we have to live with if we're too cheap to buy decent security software, but it's stooping pretty damn low when a so-called reputable security company resorts to ramming scareware scammers' tactics up the noses of its free version users to push its own paid program.
http://www.avinashtech.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/scareware.png for more on this AVG-sponsored scareware bullshit.
In the late '90s, I bought several licenses and maintained them for over five years; product quality steadily declined and support was prompt but often worthless. It's easy to imagine the Zone Troopers going to extremes to sell their product. A death spiral always brings out the worst in a company.
Buy a new PC from Dell or similar and the first thing you'll notice is the Norton 30 day trial crapware nagging you with scary notices about how your machine won't be protected unless you subscribe.
Screw that. Microsoft produce a perfectly serviceable AV product called Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free, it does it's job and most of the time it stays the hell out of the way. When combined with Windows Defender I really see no reason to pay Norton or some other vendor for AV or firewall software unless you are stuck on XP.
Firewall software is even more a waste of time these days. Most people will be behind a cable or ADSL modem firewall anyway and Windows Firewall provides a second line of defence. The chances are the default protection is more than adequate out of the box unless you want anal levels of control.
This just demonstrates a huge level of ignorance regarding the key functionality of a product like ZA.
The most important thing for me is that outbound connections are monitored.
Sure, my router and windows firewall may protect me from inbound threats, but what about that banking trojan trying to dial home.
Just to make a minor correction to your comment: Microsoft Security Essentials replaces Windows Defender - you should not run them side-by-side. Installing MSE will disable Defender, though I am not sure about the other way around.
I got the alert yesterday as I was preparing to re-install a laptop. Fooled me. Stupid ZA peeps, my wife was asking about putting it back on but after that stunt - no chance in hell.
What I would really like to see is a decent interface to the Windows built-in firewall. Trying to use the admin applet is horrific - even Linux has decent interfaces to the beast that is IPTables, so surely MS could come up with something more user friendly.
Bloody AVG also acts like malware, with popup adverts for its products.
that, along with AVG's insistence on punting the Yahoo toolbar malware means I'm on the verge of removing it and switching to something else.
I thought these products were supposed to STOP antics like that, not fscking imitate the scum!!!!
I too work in IT, and getting this message first thing on Friday morning I did a double take, and a full virus check with Avast just to make sure.
My biggest concern is what my poor old Mum would do when confronted with the message... although my brother and I have trained her well.... so she would probably phone or e-mail to check.
As it is, I warned her by mail not to panic.
I too am on the lookout for an alternate free option if one exists.
Then they released a version that without fail kept screwing up the killing of the Firefox process which could only be corrected by rebooting. Took me a while to work out that it was actually ZA that was the problem, as up until then it had been a good product.
Dumped them now and now use the free "PC Tools" product which has caused no problems whatsoever.
At the same time as ZA was spamming me with this garbage, Avast! was reminding me of talk like a pirate day.
AVG went to hell around version 8. Its previous behaviour on opening a directory full of potential threat vectors (e.g. a directory containing hundreds of assorted installers) was to block access to the files while it scanned them. As of version 8 it seemed to start blocking access to the entire directory, and in some cases caused explorer.exe to stop working while it was scanning the directory contents. Nuts to that.
Go to hell ZA. Time to look for a new firewall.
Last week I scanned my computer ,as usual, with AVG and it stated that an .exe file that I had scanned several times before and came up clean suddenly had a virus as per below;
Trojan horse BackDoor.Generic13.CLS";"Infected" I was puzzled as to how AVG had cleared the
file several times before and then all of a sudden found this alleged virus in an exe that I never used anyway.
THEN the next day I also got the message from Zone Alarm as per your article ,so you can imagine that I was paranoid by then.
I wonder if AVG are doing a similar trick ???????????????
is that your POCKET is in danger from COWBOY software companies that are deliberately trying to MISLEAD the public.
Zone Alarm should perhaps be asking itself -- is my product really *SO* bad that I have to use intentionally misleading tactics in order to sell it.
And the answer, presumably, is YES otherwise they wouldn't need to resort to this.
Unfortunately, AVG is not alone at that. Far to many products are surreptitiously installing these nuisances and, worse still, making them the default not just an opt-in.
As a paying AVG business customer, I will be taking that very serious misdemeanour into consideration when the current licences expire. I've got better things to do than go round uninstalling unmerited rubbish and I've no way of knowing whether the toolbar is communicating anything to Yahoo and perhaps doing so even when the toolbar isn't in use.
Like another user said, these programs are supposed to be guarding AGAINST inappropriate software, not installing it themselves..
and for a second it DID look like a genuine virus warning. A family member who also uses ZoneAlarm got the same impression and came to me complaining of being infected. Needless to say I'm not amused.
Since the firewall has been installed and configured for months I won't be removing it but next time I'm installing a firewall on any Windows box it won't be ZoneAlarm that's for sure. This stunt was scareware plain and simple.
I'm also starting to get annoyed at people like ZoneAlarm and Comodo insisting that their Firewall products are also Antivirus products. I personally don't see the value of "Security Suites". Just give me a Firewall that works and is easy to configure. Which means NO I don't want to have to authorize every file, registry key or application that my computer tries to run or modify.
Firewalls are concerned with network connections. Please just worry about the network connections and let me (not) worry about what files my system is accessing in the background (Comodo, Jetico).
I have to add my voice that I was duped when it came up as well, just after a fresh OS install. Which made it obvious it was a scam, even Windows doesn't get infected that fast, but I looked twice and I have been in this game for years. A sad state of affairs indeed and beneath a company that has done such sterling work with their firewalls in the past.
For family, I dumped ZA many years ago and went back to Windows' Firewall.
Because they're not in IT and just click Yes, Yes, Allow, Yes, Whatever. It's like NoScript - works perfectly for me but my wife simply would not like it on her Mac....."I have to elect to allow scripts? WTF, I just want the Internets," she'd tell me.
What ZA is doing here is wrong. It is an unsolicited message aka spam.
Another reason to never touch them again. And I used to recommend ZA back in the early Noughties.
Strangely, we won't be renewing our CheckPoint firewalls at work either....
Yes - me too. My wife rang down for advice the other day because she got that message, and was worried she had a virus. It certainly made me think for a while, until I realised that it was just threatware masquerading as a virus alert. Very very shoddy indeed - Zone Alarm KNOW it is shoddy and their excuses are hogwash.
Shame about ZA. It was good, once. Nowadays, not only isn't it good, it's being flogged like snake-oil by its latest owners.
Like others here, I used Comodo. But over time I found it obstructive and intrusive.
I changed to OnlineArmor. It "learns" and retains information more consistently and effectively than Comodo. Works well in my experience (I have the free version, teamed with the latest version of Avast AV.)
All freeware is pretty much suck-it-and-see, so what suits one user won't necessarily suit another.
Sucking on a bottle of snake-oil, however, is definitely not to be recommended: no surprise, then, that so many ZA users have realised the nature of the stuff they're running on their computers and have decided to bin it, and quick.
If they want to run scareware adverts then label it scareware.
There are dozens of paid and free firewall solutions that do not use these type of adverts.
My opinion, Nod32 paid or avast / comodo free. Just a personal opinion as neither of these tell the users there infected with a global threat - in fact it might be fair to say these alternatives are too busy protecting users to stoop to industry wide recognisable scareware.
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