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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Ultimate virus protection Ãâ" block access to the internet

11 July, 2008
Compatibility problems between ZoneAlarm and Microsoft's KB951748 patch blocks all access to the internet in the latest faux pas from Check Point
Last December, it was hard to distinguish between the screams of anguish and the howls of laughter when ZoneAlarm smartly identified explorer.exe as a worm and conveniently provided a handy delete option to swiftly despatch the offending programme. (See When Real Viruses aren't Enough)

Last Tuesday all the geek blogs started filling up with tales that ZoneAlarm users couldn't access the internet after installing Microsoft's monthly security patches, something all MS users are encouraged to do without delay. Check Point released their fix the following day on the ZoneAlarm web site and sent an e-mail linking to it on Friday, or Saturday depending on which part of the planet you as sitting.

ZoneAlarm have supplied three alternative fixes to the problem:

The first option is to lower the security setting on the "Internet Zone" firewall from High to Medium thereby making your computer less secure.

The second option is to remove the Microsoft patch using "Add and Remove Programs" thereby making your computer less secure.

The third option is to re-install ZoneAlarm using the latest build (483_000). Since ZoneAlarm don't issue upgradeable dot releases, this involves downloading the entire 43Mb program and starting from scratch which given that a large chunk of the planet still uses dial-up or sub Megabyte ADSL connections, is something of an issue in itself.

The fourth option which Check Point doesn't mention is to take a look at the other couple of dozen anti-virus software companies that are available on the market because two large scale disruptive bugs within the space of six months begins to resemble incompetence.

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