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Thread: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

  1. #1
    markfilipak Guest

    Default ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    This is more of an irritation than a problem. Here's the scenario:

    1 - Logged-in user, "Surfer", gets a ZoneAlarm alert and replies to either let the program have access to the Internet or not (Surfer's choice),

    2 - Switch user to "Worker" and the same alert is showing as though Surfer didn't take care of the issue and even though Worker didn't do anything.

    Related: I originally installed my Apache server (used for development & testing through localhost) for each and every user -- Apache Control Panel appeared in all users' system trays. Then I discovered how to install Apache as a system service as follows: I created a separate user, "Server", as part of the Users Group, and set policies to auto-loggon and run as a system service. I removed Apache from the startup for all the other users and, voila!, it works like a charm. Apache is running in its own user profile and the other users don't have the Apache Control Panel in their system trays.
    Question: Can ZoneAlarm be set up like I set up Apache? (Note, I tried but it didn't work.)

    Thanks, and thanks for the best firewall in the world.

    Ciao -- Mark

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Software Version:7.0
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    Are both users logged on before this happens, and you are just switching between them?
    My homes are SpywareHammer.com and DonHoover.net and BleepingComputer.com


    Consumer Security - 2011 & 2012

    Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
    -From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long
    Senior of the Howard Families

  3. #3
    markfilipak Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    That' correct. Surfer and Worker are already logged in and I'm just switching between them.

  4. #4
    markfilipak Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    (Yes, I'm replying to my own reply...)

    Hey Don,

    In my original post on this thread I outlined how I set up Apache as an auto-logon, system service. If ZA could be similarly set up, I think a lot of problems could be avoided. Please read my original post and let me know what you think, would you?

    Regards, Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    That is the problem. With apache you can actually have separate copies running. With ZA, there is only one firewall running, and each user gets to see the same GUI. There is no way to do what you ask. As far as ZoneAlarm is concerned, there is only one user. That is because it has to be so far into the OS. The only thing I can suggest is to sent customer support an e-mail asking for a feature for the firewall to be able to have separate profiles for the users.
    My homes are SpywareHammer.com and DonHoover.net and BleepingComputer.com


    Consumer Security - 2011 & 2012

    Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
    -From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long
    Senior of the Howard Families

  6. #6
    markfilipak Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    I'm sorry, Don. Perhaps I have not made it clear. There are *not* separate copies of Apache running. Since it has its own user name and login, and since that user is configured to auto-logon and run as a system service, Apache is totally transparent to all uses except Administrator.

    Regarding the issue at hand with ZA, you wrote: "each user gets to see the same GUI". Huh? (Running the risk of sounding like a smart aleck) that can't be true because 1, multiple users obviously do not share a common GUI (for obvious reasons), and 2, If they did, then dismissal of the alert by one user would dismiss the alert for other users and that's not happening. Conclusion: ZA is already aware of the various users -- this must be true because other types of alerts, like update notices from software that wants to update, do not go to all users, but only to the user who currently owns the primary display.

    Regarding separate profiles: I don't think that would be desirable as ZA settings should be controlled from one point -- just imagine if each user profile had differing ZA settings.

    May I suggest that *you* escalate this issue and this thread to customer support or, better, to engineering. With your position at the company I'm sure you would be more successful at getting the appropriate level of attention -- Confession: I've previously tried to get someone (anyone) at ZoneLabs to pay attention. It really is a can of worms and deserves some serious look-see. I suspect that there are bigger issues here than "meet the eye".

    Ciao, and thanks -- Mark Filipak

  7. #7
    forum_moderator Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    Everyone one on the forum is a normal user and there are NO employees of ZoneAlarm who work on here.Please refrain from being nasty and pushy! There is no need to tell someone what to do.If you cant be nice then take your questions elsewhere.Forum Moderator

  8. #8
    markfilipak Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    I beg your pardon, and Don, I apologize to you, too.

    I had no idea that "there are NO employees of ZoneAlarm who work on here". Since 1, this forum is hosted by zonelabs, and 2, Don is identified as [guru], and 3, other companies *do* have employees who monitor forums (and usually moderate them), I naturally assumed that this forum was set up by zonelabs as a portal to tech support/engineering for the purpose of identifying/filtering enhancement/bug issues prior to escalation. With that assumption (which I think is entirely reasonable given my experience with other forums -- Mozilla.org's forums, for example) I proposed that the issue of how ZA treats alerts in a multi-user environment is worthy of escalation as the architectural scope of it could affect the very core of ZA. However, given the true nature of *this* forum, which you have clearly made, I see that what I wrote is reasonably interpreted as pushy. For that, I'm truly contrite.

    So, may I ask, how does one get the attention of zonelabs? I've tried and failed. Their site seems to be closed to users.

    May I also suggest that the notice above this text area: "Please remember to keep the language clean..." be preceded by "This is a user forum and it is not monitored by employees of either ZoneLabs or Check Point Software".

    Best Regards, Mark

  9. #9
    forum_moderator Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    ZoneAlarm software was never meant to handle different user logins or settings. This is a feature request which ZoneAlarm has gotten many times in the past and they are well aware of. Possible in a future release this feature will get added to the software.The ZoneAlarm website is not closed from what I can see. www.zonealarm.comCan you be much more specific about what you mean by there site is closed?Forum Moderator

  10. #10
    markfilipak Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm alerts bleed through to other users

    Thanks for your response. Before I respond I'd like to get some things straight because you came into this late.

    First, I adore ZoneAlarm. I recommended it to all of my clients. I explain it's advantages (advantages of which I'm sure we are all aware), I take them to GRC's ShieldsUp and show them, and I urge them to pay for ZA (and some of them actually do!). In addition, IMHO, ZA has one of the best user interfaces around -- truly brilliant. I explain to them the importance of reading, understanding, and responding to alerts in a serious manner and that in a day or two the alerts will settle down.

    Next, I think multiple user profiles would be a very *bad* idea. ZA should have solely one configuration. This (non)issue is unrelated to what I was posting about.

    Next, I brought up the Apache example solely to illustrate how a service could be set up so that it's as transparent and unobtrusive as possible.

    Finally, and addressing the *real* issue, I noted simply that alerts for one user bleed through to other, uninvolved users. For example, consider this scenario: As Administrator, I FTP to a friend's server. ZA puts up an alert and I address it. Later, I switch to Surfer to do some downloading from the net and what do I find? I find the same alert about the FTP that Administrator caused. The question is: how am I to address this 'hanging' alert? Do I simply dismiss it or do I address it once again? If I dismiss it, what will happen to ZA's program access permissions? (i.e., ZA Program Control, not operating system permissions.)

    As I said in my original post, this is more an irritation than a crucial issue, but it does bring up the question: Why do alerts bleed through? And what would be the impact if this computer was in a cubical passage available to everyone instead of being in my home? In a cubical passage, when the second user gets the 'hanging' alert from the first user, the result could be confusing at best. Then, giving it more thought, the question comes up: Is there a better way?

    Based on my experience setting up Apache, I think there is a better way. All I was trying to do was to share some thoughts that would hopefully lead to a better way to handle, not only alerts, but the whole panoply of what ZA does. After all, I have a stake in ZA and would like to see it get as good as it can be.

    Please take the time to carefully read this thread and what I wrote and I'm sure you will see that 1, I did not advocate separate user profiles, and 2, I do not have separate instances of Apache running, and 3, having the ZA task showing in the task bar for any users other than Administrator is, IMHO, a bad thing. That aside, the primary question is: Why are alerts bleeding through?

    Regarding access to ZoneLabs, I perused the site looking for a way to get my ideas and concerns to the developers. That's how I found this forum. What I could not find is a way to contact the staff without being shunned simply because I'm currently using the free version. But, as I hope you can see, ZoneLabs also has a stake in me.

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