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Thread: Do I need to do Windows Upgrades?

  1. #1
    morag Guest

    Default Do I need to do Windows Upgrades?

    Hi - I wonder if any of you nice people could give some advice. Just bought a BIG disk, installed XP Pro (SP1), uninstalled the MS internet progs then installed the latest versions of ZoneAlarm Pro Suite, Firefox and Thunderbird. Ran the virus/spyware scans then set ZA to max protection/blocking and tested the internet connection all OK.

    I then ran Belarc Adviser and was horrified to see that 81 critical updates were required. I ran Windows Update (first time ever) expecting Firefox to load but the window that opened had the blue e top left I closed it pretty quickly. I had uninstalled IE6 so what was this window?

    The thing is, I ve used FFox with ZA Pro for a few years now and have never had any bug problems (that I know of!), I do keep an eye on the red data out indicator just in case. Do you think I need these updates? If so, and I have to go thro the blue e window, is my system open to attack during update? Does it by-pass Zone Alarm? Would it be safer to dowmload each file thro Ffox? Am I paranoid?

    Lastly, is the system vulnerable during boot up before ZA loads? My broadband connects thro a front USB2 port so I plug in after ZA loads but I ve been advised to connect into the network card which means the connection is live before ZA loads.

    I really don t want to get into a never ending cycle of Windows updates or clutter up my nice new sleek system if I don t have to

    Thanks for any replies!

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Pro

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    9,056

    Default Re: Do I need to do Windows Upgrades?

    Hi

    Surprisingly most security applications will insist that the IE5 or IE6 or IE7 is available. Any antivirus will insist on the Internet Explorer to even install, let alone update and just function.

    I doubt if all of the MS internet programs are completely removed- this is from personal experience. The IE lives in the Windows Directory and not only in the Program Files Folder. So does the Windows Media Player. To completely remove the Windows Messenger, the Microsoft Messenger, NetMeeting, OutLook Express (address book included), the MSN Explorer, the Windows Media Player and the Internet Explorer takes quite a few commands and file/registry cleanups in the entire OS and not just the WINDOWS Directory.

    The Windows Update will select the IE if the preferred browser was not changed to the FF ( in the Set Program Access and Defaults). Further more the Windows Update does use the ActiveX, which the FF is totally incapable of using.

    If the Windows is hardened to the ultimate are the Updates required? That would nean a complete and utter shakedown- closing all open ports, disabling some DCOM and Services, lots of registry hacks, lots of fine tuning and lots of work. Then the answer would be just some but not all of the Windows Updates are required.

    The ZA firewall engine is listed as a Service- so it is starting up with the Windows startup and is protecting you from the very beginning and not at the last moment. It is just the ZA GUI and Icon that is the last to appear.

    Oldsod
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  3. #3
    morag Guest

    Default Re: Do I need to do Windows Upgrades?

    Hi Oldgit Thanks for that. I ve decided to dig out my unused SP2 disc and upgrade, then download the rest thro Firefox.

    Luckily, I run a 3 caddy system and have some old disks that I couldn t bring myself to throw away. I ll set 3 up (with a disc/system watcher) for internet use only, one with IE7. I m curious to see which will crack first, IE7 or Firefox even with ZA protection. So, I m gonna be doing some pretty reckless surfing, Do you think the guys at ZA will let me download some of their bugs?

    Thanks again.

    Bye!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    9,056

    Default Re: Do I need to do Windows Upgrades?

    Hi

    ZA will not let you down , but the Windows OS will.

    Curious becuse I have a dedicated "Internet Warrior" laptop for the dark and dangerous side of the Internet Shadowy BadLands.

    Windows OS was hardened (Services; DCOM; Registry Hacks; MS and Windows Messengers completely removed; Outlook and NetMeeting completely removed; many internet registry keys altered and some added and some removed; some other MS applications removed and completely cleaned; and a few other personal tweaks and tunes ).
    Windows and the softs are cut down to the bare minimum- 17 processes in use without the home-made ecurity suite added.
    Powerful HIPs and a high end Antivirus installed.
    Site Blocker (1,6 billions sites blocked) plus a massive Host File.
    The Opera browser has a personalized adblock.css and a customized user.js for blocking third party and various other privacy intrusion. plus it has a massive filter.ini (blocks popup, ads, and many spysites).
    Windows XP is fully patched and updated.
    Various on demand-only tools and utilities (HJT, RootKitRevealer, Process Monitor are a few to mention)
    Zone Alarm Pro.
    Experience (lots of practise and some special knowledge!).


    End result after these special trips of mine is zero infections.

    Cheers

    Oldsod

    Message Edited by Oldsod on 11-11-2006 12:07 PM

    Operating System:Windows XP Home Edition
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Pro
    Software Version:5.x
    Best regards.
    oldsod

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