Author Topic: now I'm afraid of firewalls...  (Read 5055 times)

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Offline ncpilot

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now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« on: February 02, 2009, 12:01:27 AM »
I know a few of our members (or at least one) don't believe in software firewalls, like Zone Alarm... I could be a convert today.

I have run Zone Alarm for years without a problem, but installing the latest update really messed things up.

First I thought my internet connection went bad, but it was only my PC. After putzing around, I finally realized it had to be the new version of ZA--but it was near impossible to stop it or uninstall it. In the meantime, thinking my LAN interface had died, I put in a wireless card I had laying around--that worked fine.

I may have gone through a few interations of the above...  :evil:

Finally did a web search, and found that version 8 is a cluster--so now I'm just using Windows firewall... AVG did the same thing with their latest version--it was useless... and I switched to a different anti-virus program...

This could all be caused by my purchase of the Acer Aspire One today... ?  :roll:
Marc
Wilmington, NC
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Offline Bushman

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 12:15:06 AM »
I'm tired of being a beta tester for these firms.   :evil:  http://forums.zonealarm.org/zonelabs/board/message?board.id=inst&message.id=81494
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Offline Sigdigit

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 12:29:34 AM »
NCPilot, did you connect to your new Acer with a serial to USB adaptor?  No bearing on the zone alarm problems, I was just curious, since I'm considering getting the Acer from Office Depot to run WL.  If you are using the adaptor, where did you get it?

Offline ncpilot

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 07:22:30 AM »
I only spent enough time with the Acer to clean it up a bit (uninstall the trial ware)--haven't started to configure it to be the weather computer yet... but I've got the USB version of WL...

You figure when the software asks if you want to install the latest "important" software upgrade, it would be ok... looks like ver 8 of ZA has had problems for quite a while...

Ya know, I think for a dedicated weather computer behind a router, I might just leave it alone with only the windows firewall...
Marc
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Offline Bushman

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 07:58:23 AM »
...
Ya know, I think for a dedicated weather computer behind a router, I might just leave it alone with only the windows firewall...

That is how I did all my Asus netbook testing and would do if I was in a broadband area. Windoze FW is more than enough IMHO. 

@Sigdigit - get a Ser/USB adapter that has the Prolofic chipset.  The Softwx.com folks have one for under $10.
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blackjack52

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 08:27:16 AM »
Running ZA w/ Pista home prem w/no probs.  Did you check PROGRAM CONTROL/PROGRAMS/TRUST LEVEL :?:

Offline Sigdigit

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 08:42:33 AM »
Thanks Bushman!

Offline racenet

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 08:43:16 AM »
Running ZA & AVG on all 6 machines here, without a single issue.



Bob
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Offline ncpilot

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 08:54:43 AM »
Have you "upgraded" ZA to version 8 yet?
Marc
Wilmington, NC
"Monkey Junction Weather"
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blackjack52

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009, 09:06:20 AM »
Ver 8.0.059

Offline Garth Bock

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2009, 11:20:35 AM »

Finally did a web search, and found that version 8 is a cluster--so now I'm just using Windows firewall... AVG did the same thing with their latest version--it was useless... and I switched to a different anti-virus program...


You do realize that the Windows firewall is a one way firewall and not all that good ? While it sorta blocks inbound traffic it doesn't do a good job of blocking outbound traffic. So if you get some kind of email trojan or virus that "phones home", the Windows firewall won't stop it. I too have had problems with ZA in the past. I am taking a risk with the Win Firewall and my Belkin N router firewall as well.

Garth
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Offline ncpilot

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 11:50:21 AM »
I believe the Vista firewall will block outbound, but it's not turned on by default... don't know if the XP firewall will block outbound--that's why I had ZA, to easily block outbound.

However, on a PC that's not used for web browsing or email, and behind a router, how could you ever get a trojan or virus? (unless it was part of some software you download?)
Marc
Wilmington, NC
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Davis VP2 wireless, WeatherLink

Offline Bushman

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 11:52:38 AM »
Do a bit of NAT and port blocking (like Port 25) and even if you magically get a trojan/demon dialer it'll be cut off at the knees.  On my Asus netbook I wo't even be running antivirus AAMOF!
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Offline racenet

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 07:52:45 PM »
Have you "upgraded" ZA to version 8 yet?

Yep, sure did.

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Offline gwwilk

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 10:42:55 PM »
Here is an excellent free firewall that also has antivirus capabilities:  http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/download_firewall.html

I use it on my older machines that run Win2K or WinXP, although I see that they no longer offer the Win2K compatible version 2x, just the WinXP/Vista version 3x in 32 and 64 bit versions.  My weather programs run on an older Win2K machine with Comodo firewall protection.  It always catches new VWS betas when I install them and requires my initial verification to allow VWS internet interaction again.  If I want to use a firewall other than Windows, this is what I use.  I gave up on ZA years ago.
Regards, Jerry Wilkins
gwwilk@inebraska.com

Offline ncpilot

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2009, 08:56:11 AM »
Just goes to show how specific computers with all their different hardware and software, can react differently... I tried Comodo on my laptop last year, and it just did not work well... went back to ZA...

My older laptop still is running ZA (not Ver. 8 ) with no problems. Vista desktop is running the Windows firewall. Weather computer is now running the Windows firewall...  :roll:

The version numbers can make a real difference. When AVG rolled out a new version (I think it was 8?), I had problems, and rolled back to ver. 7--a web search showed that a lot of people were having problems--to the extent that AVG extended the life of the prior version. Seems lately that they may have fixed the problems--but in the mean time I went with Avast, which has been problem free...

Older version of AVG on my weather PC, Vista PC has Avast, laptop has older AVG...
Marc
Wilmington, NC
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Davis VP2 wireless, WeatherLink

blackjack52

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2009, 09:49:32 AM »
You got that right.
When I purchased the hp pavilion pair of wx computers last yr, ZA was not fully integrated w/ Pista.  I tried just using the Pista fw and my MadCam wouldn't work along w/ VWS d/l.  Virtual ports/zones where configd.  The b/u wx comp worked perfectly.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 09:53:23 AM by MadALwx »

Offline gwwilk

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2009, 10:12:57 AM »
Just goes to show how specific computers with all their different hardware and software, can react differently... I tried Comodo on my laptop last year, and it just did not work well... went back to ZA...

Comodo is different from ZA in that it requires you to sit there and click through all of the networking requests it doesn't recognize after you install it.  There's a lot of traffic on a weather computer and server that it doesn't recognize so it takes quite a few minutes at first of just sitting there and watching the messages pop up, checking their origin, and clicking through them.  What Comodo hasn't done is just block traffic without indicating that it has done so, and this was my experience with ZA.  I'm not sophisticated enough with networking to debug a problem like this without considerable hand-holding, which Comodo gives me.  It ALWAYS tells me that it's holding up the show, and I need that in the worst way.
Regards, Jerry Wilkins
gwwilk@inebraska.com

blackjack52

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2009, 11:58:52 AM »
I don't blame you there.  Just before Christmas, 24th, I had a Napster debit chrg of 1.00; we don't use it.  The next day I had a 100.00 chrg from an online gaming casino.  My bank called me on the 25th; noticed the IP addresses didn't match.  I did a complete security scan and found my router f/w down.  So I chngd the WAP auth key for wireless.  ZA didn't catch the intrusion.  Thank God the bank did.  Someone worked around something.

Offline mackbig

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2009, 01:44:49 PM »
Do you ever do pc banking outside the home?
Most if not all our breaches for our clients are outside the home or work.

They dont happen that often.  The last two, "i had my laptop serviced in Thailand" "I was using free internet in a hotel in Czech Repuplic"   Our response "Duh..."

Some are honest breaches in puplic cafes, or friends houses... the occaisional home attack user logers, etc.
Actually vast majority are people who provide their info to phishing sites....

Andrew

I don't blame you there.  Just before Christmas, 24th, I had a Napster debit chrg of 1.00; we don't use it.  The next day I had a 100.00 chrg from an online gaming casino.  My bank called me on the 25th; noticed the IP addresses didn't match.  I did a complete security scan and found my router f/w down.  So I chngd the WAP auth key for wireless.  ZA didn't catch the intrusion.  Thank God the bank did.  Someone worked around something.

Andrew - Davis VP2+ 6163, serial weatherlink, wireless anemometer, running Weather Display.  Boltek PCI Stormtracker, Astrogenic Nexstorm, Strikestar - UNI, CWOP CW8618, GrLevel3, (Station 2 OS WMR968, VWS 13.01p09), Windows 7-64

blackjack52

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2009, 02:16:18 PM »
No, I only use 1 puter for all banking and ordering on-line.  It doesn't use wifi, only secure wireless, and the puter doesn't leave the house.

Offline ocala

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2009, 02:59:45 PM »
I know a few of our members (or at least one) don't believe in software firewalls, like Zone Alarm... I could be a convert today.

I have run Zone Alarm for years without a problem, but installing the latest update really messed things up.

First I thought my internet connection went bad, but it was only my PC. After putzing around, I finally realized it had to be the new version of ZA--but it was near impossible to stop it or uninstall it. In the meantime, thinking my LAN interface had died, I put in a wireless card I had laying around--that worked fine.

I may have gone through a few interations of the above...  :evil:

Finally did a web search, and found that version 8 is a cluster--so now I'm just using Windows firewall... AVG did the same thing with their latest version--it was useless... and I switched to a different anti-virus program...

This could all be caused by my purchase of the Acer Aspire One today... ?  :roll:
I DL version 8 a couple days ago but never got around to installing it. After reading your post I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Offline mackbig

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2009, 05:02:24 PM »
At least the bank's take the hit in most cases...  You are not typical, in your breach, and the fact that you obviously protect your computer and still got hit.  Most dont, and click on every pop up they see, including the free antivurs2009 ad/spyware....

I actully met with some senior investigators at work the other day (all ex police) these guys wont even used their debit/credit cards at bricks and mortar businesses, all cash.  kind of scary if they dont trust the system.

No, I only use 1 puter for all banking and ordering on-line.  It doesn't use wifi, only secure wireless, and the puter doesn't leave the house.

Andrew - Davis VP2+ 6163, serial weatherlink, wireless anemometer, running Weather Display.  Boltek PCI Stormtracker, Astrogenic Nexstorm, Strikestar - UNI, CWOP CW8618, GrLevel3, (Station 2 OS WMR968, VWS 13.01p09), Windows 7-64

Offline saratogaWX

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Re: now I'm afraid of firewalls...
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2009, 11:29:34 AM »
I use AVG on my main development system, McAffe (free from Comcast) on my WX system with no issues.

The key to keeping as safe as you can is:
1) rely on defense in depth .. keep unwanted 'visitors' out of your network by having a hardware firewall router on your internet connection, and individual software firewalls on each system in your local network.
2) prevent (most) drive-by downloads by using only Firefox with NoScript (allows you to choose to run scripts from a site or not).
3) keep your system up-to-date with patches (including patches for Flash and Acrobat viewers).
4) don't do browsing on your weather system PC (except to update patches)

The idea is to have multiple layers of defense so that compromise of any one layer doesn't compromise your whole network.

BTW.. I did internet/firewall security for 10+ years before retirement.. been there, battled that :)

Best regards,
Ken
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