Zone Alarm Free and pcflank leaktest failure

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by truthseeker, Jun 20, 2008.

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  1. truthseeker

    truthseeker Former Poster

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    I just installed FREE version of Zone Alarm, and then I run pcflank.exe the leak test and it says Zone Alarm failed.

    What does that mean in regard to security for me?
     
  2. boonie

    boonie Registered Member

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    Nothing.

    It seems like Stem did a pretty good job of explaining the PCFlank test here.
     
  3. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    Don't worry about trying ZoneAlarm Pro to see if it can pass either. It doesn't pass all so ZA has PCflank blocked as a spyware site.
     
  4. RockLobster

    RockLobster Registered Member

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    Those leak tests fail zone alarm for the wrong reasons, I have used several different zone alarm style,software firewalls with outbound filtering over the years, and their biggest failing is in its pop ups requesting the user to make that big desision, allow or disallow.

    The majority of users including myself do not have enough knowledge of every program we install to make an informed decision on this.
    The program may want internet access so it can check for updates, or it may want internet access so it can send data about your internet habits back to an adware server, or even worse and harder to discover, both.

    How is the average user to know if the programs they install are all going to behave themselves if granted internet access or not?
    Without spending a lot of time analyzing outbound data packets from each and every program that requests internet access, and breaking the protocol its using to communicate with remote servers (it is unlikely to be plain text if it is doing something untoward) It is impossible to know what the program will do when we allow it access to the internet.

    I recently used a program which uses a very sneaky way to ensure it is given internet access even though it doesnt do anything on the internet, the way it does this is it is split into several different applications which rely on being able to communicate with each other using sockets, to operate correctly, in other words, if you deny it internet access, it fails to work, so you grant it internet access for this reason right ?

    Well at the same time as it is using sockets to communicate with its different parts, it is also communicating with a remote server, for what reason ? I didnt find out yet for sure, but I believe one of the reasons is to surrepticiously send details of your serial code to a remote server, so it can disable the application if that serial code is considered by them to be illigitimate or is being used on other computers at the same time.
    The program is GForce, a visualisation plugin for Windows Media Player.

    My point being, even though you may consider this use of the internet to be an acceptable anti piracy practice, it goes to show, once an application is installed on your computer is reletively easy to coerce the user into allowing it through a firewall, and once you do this you have no control over what it does online.
    Malware doesnt get on your computer by itself, it gets there when you install it, and as you obviously saw fit to install it in the first place, that in itself says you must believe it was a safe program, so why would you then refuse it internet access ?
    This is the reason why in most instances, zone alarm style firewalls do not prevent malware from connecting to remote servers on the internet.
     
  5. gerardwil

    gerardwil Registered Member

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    Why do you install it then?

    Gerard
     
  6. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    Depends on how much you value outbound filtering of proof of concept code that is rarely used by real malware.

    Cheers
    Jeremy
     
  7. Fajo

    Fajo Registered Member

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    Zone Alarms Adviser it has now is quite good it helps give a desion on it also gives you more information on what it does and whats going on with it... you may want to revist it sence it has prob changed drasticly sence the last time you used it ;)
     
  8. RockLobster

    RockLobster Registered Member

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    Because somethimes in order to accomplish a task, it is neccessary to install new software.
     
  9. truthseeker

    truthseeker Former Poster

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    This is why I dual boot and have MS Vista and Linux on my system.

    I use Linux for all important tasks such as Netbanking, accessing my CC account etc.
     
  10. truthseeker

    truthseeker Former Poster

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    And you would need to have a malware installed on your system to begin with.

    If my system is clean, and I never install anything unless it's from a well known and reputable company, then I wouldn't need to worry about such things in the first place, right?
     
  11. RockLobster

    RockLobster Registered Member

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    Well yes, you could be right, but there are many reasons why people may install software from a less well known company for instance not everyone can afford to pay hundreds of dollars for say, adobe photoshop, and may have to use a freeware image editor instead, and hope that it doesnt do anything over the internet, that they are unaware of.
     
  12. Fajo

    Fajo Registered Member

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    I recall a spyware site once hosting a pop up saying your Java, Flash, or Active X is out of date and to click ok to begin updating... Most people honestly that don't know what they are watching for will click OK. Virus and spyware can and do imitate other company's all the time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2008
  13. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    Re: AntiLeak racing insanity?

    True. Behavior blocking is just another layer of security. That what firewalls with leaktest prevention really are.
     
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