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Thread: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

  1. #1
    concerneduser Guest

    Default ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    While looking for information on why my C:\WINDOWS\INTERNET LOGS folder became so huge (more than 1 Gigabyte...), I came across this website:

    http://a1-electronics.net/General_In...rity_Nov.shtml

    The short version is that they believe that Zone Alarm is continuously monitoring internet activity of it's users, and communicating this to ZoneLabs.

    If this is true, then I believe this is an extremely bad breach of privacy (not to mention trust).

    If it is not true, then I would like some convincing arguments from the folks at ZoneLabs, and a an email explaining things to the guys at a1-electronics.net who until now apparently only got automated replies.

    Best regards from a concerned user

  2. #2
    unhappy_viewer Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    Somebody has also made a query about that article and I have replied to it. Please see:
    http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs/b...ssage.id=31719

    Message Edited by unhappy_viewer on 02-20-200611:34 PM

  3. #3
    concerneduser Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    Unhappy_viewer, thanks for your message, and sorry for not doing the proper search.

    I do find it strange that either ZoneLabs have (apparently) not officially replied to the statement on a1-electronics.net as it is obviously a serious concern.

    As a firewall is one of the primary tools to prevent spyware accessing the internet, even the suggestion that the firewall may be spyware itself is extremely worrying.

    Message Edited by concerneduser on 02-20-200607:17 AM

  4. #4
    unhappy_viewer Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    I don't know why ZL did not reply but I suspect its because a1 did not do a through research before publishing their results. Their report has also been pretty much dismissed by the security community due to the lack of research into what the various files were for.

    If they even check the forums, they would know that the files concerned were database-related since we have been always recommending users to delete these files when their databses got corrupted. Plus if they had read the EULA (which I think they did not judging from the article), they would have know what communication between the program and servers were used for. This alone just makes A1 look pretty bad and look like one of those consipracy theorist/spammers. Probably thats why ZL did not reply to them. You can't expect a professor in a university to give good marks to a student who hasn't done his research too.

    Message Edited by unhappy_viewer on 02-21-200601:13 AM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    9,008

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    Hi I am curious about this whole issue. A lot of software is reporting home with the users info and there is no uproar at all about those, just the ZA. Why is that? Toolbar ( should I name them?), Previx versions of the free and paid, several antispies, and probably soft's I never heard of, internet search engines (are retaining users searches) and some internet providers are doing customer checks are doing the very same thing. I actually believe the ZA is not doing any cloak and dagger operation with my pc. No secrets of the Universe to be found on my machine. So many malwares are created to infiltrate the pc's and the one of the very best products to protect it is accused of just doing that. My guess is it's to good and the whole public propaganda was originally started by makers of malware, just to throw mud on at ZA. Take care Oldsod
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  6. #6
    lordankur Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    See let me be honest with you,i think 9/10 security companies do send back internet activity of the user to their servers..
    Big companies like norton,mcafee,and now outpost have their connection to servers for configuring auto-access permission for apps...So how do they set settings for your apps????
    By monitoring the way apps behave on your computer and how your using it and sending the feedback to their experts..
    Infact outpost 3.5 which has "Improvenet" program quite clearly states that it will send info about application and rules you set to their expert,who will analyse and re-adjust settings,if necessary and...
    So,i think we need to accept that almost all companies will send data to their servers...mainly due to the fact that everybody who happens to be on the net and using your product does not know how to and what to allow or block and ultimately they'll get frustrated with pop-ups and leave it...
    So,i think we just need to be a little tolerant with them..

  7. #7
    flyyourway Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    Yes ,but you must ask yourself,for those who do know how to disable all that communication with the programs server,ZA still contacts its server even without your explicit knowledge.I don't care if there is a legit reason,but if I decide I do not want this communication give me the option of disabling it,which both 6.x versions of ZA don't allow,they still contact the server,even though it was implied by ZoneLabs thats its just a harmless PING.LOL yea OK so why is there encrypted info being sent?

    Regardless if these companies believe that they need to constantly monitor my safety they should still warn of this behavior,and allow me the user and owner of the machine,that I paid for their software to protect my computer to still make choices on my own safety.I do believe many are happy with this feature,but there are just as many skilled users who might not be so happy.It doesn't just boil down to paranoia,it boils down to freedom of ones own choices,and not forced choices.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?



    You know, this question comes up everytime a new version of ZoneAlarm comes out. First have you read the help file?

    <HR><P class=pBody>Zone Labs security software users can help shape the future of Zone Labs security products by joining the DefenseNet community protection network and periodically sending anonymous configuration data to Zone Labs for analysis. By joining DefenseNet, you can help us focus our attention on the features and services that you use most often and to introduce new functionality that will provide even smarter security. <A name=wp1003739 target=_blank></A><P class=pBody>Configuration data is not collected from ZoneAlarm or ZoneAlarm Anti-virus users. <DIV align=left><TABLE id=wp1003744table1003740 borderColor=white cellSpacing=4 cellPadding=0 width=450 bgColor=white border=0><CAPTION></CAPTION><TBODY><TR vAlign=top align=left><TD bgColor=#ffffff><A name=wp1003742 target=_blank></A><DIV class=pNoteIcon style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; COLOR: #000000; FONT-STYLE: normal; FONT-VARIANT: normal; TEXT-DECORATION: none"> [img]mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Zone%20Labs\ZoneA larm\Help\zaclients.chm::/images/noteicon2.gif[/img] </TD><TD bgColor=#f5f8da><A name=wp1003744 target=_blank></A><DIV class=pNotetext style="MARGIN-TOP: 7pt; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 7pt; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-ALIGN: left">Even with the "Alert me before I make contact" preference selected in the Overview|Preferences tab, you will not be alerted before sending configuration data to Zone Labs. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><P class=pBody><A name=wp1003745 target=_blank></A><P class=pBody>The data collected is completely anonymous and is for Zone Labs internal use only and will not be shared with others. Of the millions of Zone Labs security software users, only a small percentage of users will have their information collected. The frequency of data transmission depends upon the configuration of your computer. For most users, data will be sent once per day. <A name=wp1003749 target=_blank></A><P class=pBody>To send configuration data to Zone Labs, select <B class=cBold>Yes, automatically and anonymously share my settings [/B]in the Configuration Wizard.<DIV align=left><TABLE id=wp1003754table1003750 borderColor=white cellSpacing=4 cellPadding=0 width=450 bgColor=white border=0><CAPTION></CAPTION><TBODY><TR vAlign=top align=left><TD bgColor=#ffffff><A name=wp1003752 target=_blank></A><DIV class=pNoteIcon style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; COLOR: #000000; FONT-STYLE: normal; FONT-VARIANT: normal; TEXT-DECORATION: none"> [img]mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Zone%20Labs\ZoneA larm\Help\zaclients.chm::/images/noteicon2.gif[/img] </TD><TD bgColor=#f5f8da><A name=wp1003754 target=_blank></A><DIV class=pNotetext style="MARGIN-TOP: 7pt; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 7pt; TEXT-TRANSFORM: none; TEXT-ALIGN: left">If you later decide that you do not want to send anonymous data, select Overview|Preferences, in the Contact with Zone Labs area, then clear the Share my settings anonymously... check box. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    <HR>

    Also the privacy policy from the ZoneLabs website? http://tinyurl.com/lf7ba

    Also they tell you how to turn off all the communication from ZA to any of the ZA servers. http://download.zonelabs.com/bin/fre...005/pr_22.html

    That is more than I can say about other companies.



    Communications to / from ZoneLabs is entirely your discretion so how can this be a breach of trust?

    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

  9. #9
    lordankur Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    See when i wrote that reply,i didn't want to say that i support za in what they are doing and neither am i going to use it until they fix it!
    See its a serious issue and i seriously think that pplo should judge it for themselves..
    Hoov,can you tell me after downloading the free plug-in will i be able to remove and will i be able to download updates and stuff..

    Message Edited by LordAnkur on 02-22-200612:06 PM

  10. #10
    flyyourway Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm = spyware?

    Hey Hoov,of course all great points that you have brought out,but remember that when 6.0 first was released that users came here talking about rogue communication between their computers and the ZoneLabs servers?This went on for months,it took an article in the Infoworld magazine for ZoneLabs to confess to their bug,when it was being reported to them from the get go,they might say it wasnt reported,as they dont look into these forums for bugs.I say bologna,I had reported leakage even when the all communication was disabled.Next they will say that they lost your email as I have already had that discussion with the Forum Moderator,he is good at saying emails get lost.I honestly believe they were going to keep it silent till the Infoworld arcticle appeared,then they knew they had to give an official announcement.Anyhow great to see you back here HOOV.

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