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Thread: Suspicious behavior of ISW: Zonealarm reporting itself

  1. #1
    telnolies Guest

    Question Suspicious behavior of ISW: Zonealarm reporting itself

    I am getting a repeated 'suspicious activity' warning that Zonealarm is trying to set 'ISW' to run every time my computer starts!

    To date I have denied permission until I know what is going on, or what exactly it means by 'ISW' - that's all it says, no precise program name.

    Is this normal, and should I let it happen...?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Zonealarm reporting itself!!

    No, its not normal. If you want some help from users here you will need to provide a minimum of information. Operating System and updates? Exact ZA version (see below what to paste)? Other security tools installed? When this issue was seen? Always? Now? Sometimes? Are you running ZA at defaults? Or did you changed anything?

    Right click the ZA icon near the clock --> About --> copy to clipboard --> paste in a reply.

    Thanks,
    Fax

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

  3. #3
    telnolies Guest

    Smile Re: Zonealarm reporting itself!!

    Hi.... Ok, hope this is what people need:

    System: Windows Explorer 8, running on XP pro Service Pack 2 Build 2600
    ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall version: 10.2.074.000
    Vsmon version: 10.2.074.000
    Driver version: 10.2.074.000
    Antivirus engine version: 8.2.11.97
    Antivirus signature DAT file version: 1092570848
    Web Identity Protections version: 1.5.395.0

    This is on default, as far as I know. Message appears as I connect to internet, most, maybe every, time - haven't kept a check, will do so. Has done this since I altered ZA from being just firewall to combined AV/FW. No other AV or FW running.

    Any other info needed will do my best to provide, but new to these boards so apologies if I don't get the board protocols right! Thanks in advance for any help received.
    Last edited by GeorgeV; September 1st, 2012 at 10:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    The 3rd Coast - South Central Texas
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    Smile Re: Zonealarm reporting itself!!

    Hello;

    Thank you for providing more information about your computer configuration..

    One of the Major problems I see, is that your WinXP Pro is running Service Pack two (SP2)..

    As of July 13, 2010, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP SP2,

    Sorry, You will need to Update Windows XP to Microsoft Service Pack 3 (SP3) plus dozens of additional Critical Microsoft WinXP updates after SP3..
    Zone Alarm can not Protect you from things that the Missing the 100's of Critical Software fixes applied in Service Pack 3..


    Sticky: Microsoft Ends Windows XP SP2 Support Now and ALL XP Support Ends April 2014 <== click here
    Last edited by GeorgeV; September 2nd, 2012 at 04:19 AM.

  5. #5
    telnolies Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Zonealarm reporting itself!!

    Ah! Well I'd better do that then!

    I also think I MIGHT have solved the problem, sort of... in that when I 'altered' ZA to be both FW & AV, I may effectively have reinstalled ZA, perhaps with the original ZA not entirely uninstalling for some reason..... not sure, but there seems to be some duplicate 'temp' ZA-related files and a stray 'prefetch' file which could be the source of the problem....

    I won't bother posting all the details as I've stuck them in the recycle bin for now, and it will either solve it, or not! I can always reinstate them, or reinstall ZA if necessary and see if the problem persists either before, or after, updating to SP3. Main thing was whether to just let 'ZA' open 'ISW', and clearly right now the answer is 'no'! Though I have checked to see if there were any strange files calling themselves 'ZA', or 'ISW', and all looks fine, and both ZA and Trend Micro online test report clear of any virus so all seems well..

    Many thanks for the advice, and see how I get on! Cheers

  6. #6

    Default Re: Zonealarm reporting itself!!

    I don't want to hijack this post, but I have to say this: ISW is the toolbar that ZA installs automatically in the new version. In prior versions you could have opted it out. I have not the best experiences with this toolbar as it slows the boot and shutdown process dramatically. I decided to stop this service in XP. Unfortunately, that disables the browser-security within ZA. And yes, SP 3 is inevitable to improve security of your PC.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Zonealarm reporting itself!!

    Quote Originally Posted by telnolies View Post
    Main thing was whether to just let 'ZA' open 'ISW', and clearly right now the answer is 'no'!
    Actually the answer is "YES". ISWMRG is part of ZA and the forcefield component. Not really the toolbar as was suggested but part of the web protection in ZA. In retail versions it seems to be responsbile for the grabbing and encryption of website data, not sure what it does in ZAfree. If you block it, the identity web protection (or whatever is called in ZAfree) may not work correctly.

    The main issue is that you should not get this warning by ZA as this component is internally trusted. Probably the ZA databases (where ZA settings are stored) are corrupted. This is normally fixed by a reset of the settings or a clean reinstall. YOu may want to perform a clean install as soon as new build will be released, so you start form a clean bill.

    Hope this clarify the issue. I have revised the thread title to better hint to the issue. This will help other users with similar problem to find back the post.

    btw, Issue may be encountered also if you run a non supported version of the browser. e.g. Firefox 15.

    Cheers,
    Fax
    P.S. Darklord666: At install you can opt out from the toolbar. Or simply after install got to your windows control panel (add/remove application -XP - or uninstall a program - WIN7 -) and remove "Zonealarm Security Toolbar"
    Last edited by fax; September 2nd, 2012 at 02:14 AM.

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

  8. #8
    telnolies Guest

    Default Re: Suspicious behavior of ISW: Zonealarm reporting itself

    That's really helpful - will do as you suggest.

    Thanks guys.

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