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Thread: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

  1. #1
    simonw Guest

    Default MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    I am aware of the "2nd Tuesday of every month" update from Microsoft and planned to allow it to happen later on today, but not this morning while I was away, so after I switched the PC on and logged in with a limited account I set the Zone Alarm (full security suite) to "Stop all Internet Activity". And yet, mid-morning my Windows XP SP2 PC reported that the latest updates from Microsoft had been installed and the PC needed to restart. Apparently the firewall does not prevent Microsoft updates from downloading and installing. How can I now be confident that malware cannot do the same?

    Operating System:Windows XP Home Edition
    Software Version:7.0
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite

  2. #2
    watcher Guest

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Dear simonw:

    It might be because you activated the Internet lock in the limited account but had it set to automatically update under the Administrator account. According to the Windows XP Professional Resource Kit, 3rd edition, Windows Update can only be run by users with local administrator privileges.

    Malware that takes advantages of the vulnerabilities in the operating system have the capability of circumventing the security software installed on the computer. That's why it's so important to keep your operating system updated.

    No security software can guarantee protection against attack. However, a firewall is a good first line of defense and taking preventive measures while online can do more for protecting your computer than any piece of security software.

    Hope this helps.

    WATCHER

  3. #3
    simonw Guest

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Thanks for trying, but it doesn't seem right. I do have two accounts set up, but I never activate the Administrator one unless I'm installing software etc, and it was certainly not activated yesterday. Each month in the past I have noticed the Windows Update being installed automatically
    while I was in my limited account. It's possible I would not be able to request the update from this account, I've not tried, but it certainly does allow the automatic one. And I've also noticed that if I do set the Zone Alarm internet lock then switch accounts, the lock setting (either on or off) carries over to the other account. So my concern is still that the automatic download and install happened while the lock was on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    8,984

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Any applications have pass through?

    Oldsod
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  5. #5
    simonw Guest

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    No, I've never set passtrough for anything.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    8,984

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Try a database reset. The ZA database may have become corrupted and starting fresh again should solve the problem.

    Like this:

    Boot your computer into the Safe Mode

    Navigate to the c:\windows\internet logs folder

    Delete the backup.rdb and iamdb.rdb files in the folder

    Clean the Recycle Bin

    Reboot into the normal mode

    ZA will be just like new with no previous settings or data

    (How to get into the safe mode)
    http://www.pchell.com/support/safemode.shtml

    Also, if there are any other security applications with web scanning or site filtering or cookie blockers they could be interferring with the firewall.

    Oldsod

    Message Edited by Oldsod on 08-16-2007 10:12 AM
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  7. #7
    watcher Guest

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Dear simonw:

    Windows Update is enabled by default. If you log on to your Administrator account, you can verify this by right clicking My Computer, either on the Desktop or Start menu, then click Properties. From the System Properties dialog box, click the Automatic Updates tab. If set here, it has a global effect. In other words, it will run no matter which account you are using so long as there are updates available. When I set up a computer for a family member, she used a Power User account for Internet access as I warned her about the dangers of using an Administrator account. When she logged onto her computer, with a broadband connection, Windows Update would sometimes run and then she'd have this gold shield icon show up in the Notification Area. If you hover the mouse over the icon, it would say something like updates downloaded, ready to be installed and prompted her to install them. If you clicked OK, they would install and then it would prompt for a reboot at regular intervals. Her computer was set to automatically download but not install updates. This gave her more control over when to install them.

    There is nothing in the Help document that I found that covers this situation. SmartDefense Advisor assigns a Trusted Level of Super, along with server permissions, but the Internet Lock should work no matter what account engages it, unless the program has pass-lock permission. Have you tried the Stop button to see if this works on Windows Update.

    Hope this helps.

    WATCHER

    Message Edited by WATCHER on 08-16-2007 10:39 PM

  8. #8
    simonw Guest

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Thanks for your response. I understand that you can't tell how much experience a contact has, but I am a fairly experienced PC user and I do understand how Windows Update works - I don't have a problem with it. My only concern it that, having realised it still works (automatically) while Zone Alarm's red padlock is set, whether it is possible that malware might also do so.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    localhost
    Posts
    17,675

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Hi!if ZA does not block MS windows updates it can only mean that ZA is not set correctly or thatZA database is corrupted.Just tested myself and MS update is just killed as well as any other executable that has no passlock permission....Cheers,Fax

    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday 6am to 10pm Central time
    Closed Sundays and Holidays

  10. #10
    simonw Guest

    Default Re: MS Windows Update worked in spite of Zone Alarm's "Stop all Internet Activity"

    Ok, maybe I'll have to accept that. Not sure how you tested though, because my impression was that I probably would not be able to initiate a Windows Update with the lock on, only that the automatic update worked. I'll do a database reset in the next couple of days. Cheers, Simon

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