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Thread: Zone Alarm and Skype

  1. #1
    rmitt Guest

    Default Zone Alarm and Skype

    I'm currently using the free version of Zone Alarm, v.6.1.737.000 under Windows XP SP2 and Internet Explorer v.6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_gdr.050301-1519.
    I'd like to use Skype to talk with friends and family in other area codes and overseas but have 2 questions.
    First, does Skype work with the free version of Zone Alarm or will I have to upgrade to ZA Pro?
    In Skype's FAQs, there are instructions for configuring ZA Pro to work with Skype, but not the free version.
    Second, the with regard to firewalls, the Skype FAQs state:

    "The minimum requirement is that Skype needs unrestricted outgoing TCP access to all destination ports above 1024 or to ports 80 and 443 (the former is better, however). If you don't allow either of those, Skype will not work reliably at all. Voice quality and some other aspects of Skype functionality will be greatly improved if you also open up outgoing UDP traffic to all ports above 1024, and allow UDP replies to come back in.

    In the quest for even better voice quality, it is also advisable to open up incoming TCP and/or UDP to the specific port you see in Skype Options. This port is chosen randomly when you install Skype."

    Will opening up those outgoing ports create any vulnerability?
    For example, could
    a Trojan
    communicate with its creator thru one of those open outgoing ports?
    I assume not, but thought I'd ask first.

    Will opening up
    incoming TCP and/or UDP to the specific port shown in Skype Options create a vulnerability?

    Thanks for your help.

    Operating System:Windows XP Home Edition
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)
    Software Version:6.1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    <blockquote><hr>rmitt wrote:


    ..First, does Skype work with the free version of Zone Alarm or will I have to upgrade to ZA Pro?

    ..Second, the with regard to firewalls, the Skype FAQs state:

    &quot;The minimum requirement is that Skype needs unrestricted outgoing TCP access to all destination ports above 1024 or to ports 80 and 443 (the former is better, however). If you don't allow either of those, Skype will not work reliably at all.

    ..could a Trojan communicate with its creator thru one of those open outgoing ports?
    <hr></blockquote>
    Opening ports increases your level of vulnerability. It does not make you vulnerable. A trojan is not the problem, its only the source of the problem. Its payload is the real danger which could include viruses, keyloggers etc. Don't ever run programs you don't trust and make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware are all up to date.

    To answer your questions, Skype should work with ZA Free but you must give Skype server rights. This is all you NEED to do because it open the ports but restricts access to Skype alone. If Skype is not given server rights, people outside will not be able to contact you. The other suggestions are just fine tuning and fiddlng at the edges.

    Skype is very sophisticated (it had its roots in Kazaa) and using very sophisticated P2P technology can negotiate its way through firewalls like they don't exist. Unlike Kazaa, it contains no spyware or other nasty stuff and it makes all other IM programs look like toys. Unlike any of the other IM's, it uses state of the are encryption (AES) to protect all its communications including file transfer, voice and video. Ebay recently bought Skype for $US4 Billion (yes, that's a B, not an M) to integrate it with Ebay and PayPal and so its integrity has to be paramount. You can trust Skype.

    Unless you have voice problems (and this can happen - especially with consumer grade modem/routers) and low banwidth connections en route, then its time to worry about fine tuning, but not before.

    Hence, give Skype server rights in ZA but don't open any ports (on your modem) yet and see how it goes. You don't have port control on ZA free. Skype is a server but it doesn't contain malicious code and even if something did manage to contact it from outside on the incoming port, Skype will not react unless the other external client is also Skype.

    Its a great program. Use it with confidence!

  3. #3
    rmitt Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    Thanks.
    I'll try your suggestions and post re my experience whether good or bad.

  4. #4
    ad_hock Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    Hi FrereOp
    I just want to tell you the pleasure I had reading such a nice and well written post, in all aspects in my opinion.Thanks for that.
    My best regards.
    AD

  5. #5
    bmcdivitt Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    I'm having trouble w/ my skype now, how did this go for you?

  6. #6
    rmitt Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    Sorry about the delay in replying. I never installed Skype, so I don't know how it would work with ZA. Instead, I use jajah (www.jajah.com), which doesn't require a download or installation. It's not free, but it doesn't require that your computer connect to anything but the jajah server (to dial the number of the person you want to speak to); thus, the insecurity issue doesn't arise. I'm willing to pay $.025/min. to avoid possible problems.

    Good luck,
    Bob

  7. #7
    bmcdivitt Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    Thanks for the reply Bob. I have been using skype and free ZA for a few days now and things seem to be settling out ok, I think there were just a LOT of initial alarms to respond to!Billy

  8. #8
    dtt Guest

    Default Re: Zone Alarm and Skype

    I am using ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.000Today I installed the new SKype 3.2.0.175 version and ZA wouldn't allow it log in. It says &quot;Blocked from Listening to port(s): TCP: 80,443-6687How do I fix this? How do I unblock this port?
    Thank you!

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