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Thread: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

  1. #1
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    Default Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    I don't see a lot of activity in these forums. I hope someone can help me with this problem.

    I've been using Zonealarm Free for over 8 years, and by default it has always blocked all computers on a LAN from accessing each other unless the IP addresses of each system are added to the Trusted Zone in ZA on each system.

    But after a struggle with loosing Internet access the other night from my ISP, and finally resolving the issue, I came across this problem with ZA on 3 systems on this LAN. All 3 have ZA ZoneAlarm Free version 13.3.209.000 installed. 2 Win7 x64 systems and one Vista x32.

    With no IP addresses added to the Trusted Zone on all 3 systems, they can all access each other. This is not how ZA has worked for me in the past. If I set up an IP address of one system to be blocked on another system, it will be blocked.

    But I have never had to set an IP address, or a range of IP addresses to be blocked in the past in order to have a fresh installation of ZA block all IP addresses on the LAN by default. I have just added an IP to be permitted access.

    Can someone help me with this? Has something changed in how ZA needs to be configured?
    Last edited by beejinops; January 27th, 2015 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
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    Default Am I mistaken, or are there registry artifacts?

    Now I'm wondering if I've been mistaken about ZA's default behavior. I just uninstalled the new version, ran the ZA clean.exe tool, and installed an older v11 I had backed up. I see 'out of the box' my old v11 doesn't automatically block other systems on this LAN.

    However ZA is not being installed and configured according to how I set the installer's advanced preferences. It ignores my choice to "Skip all offers" and goes ahead and installs the Zonealarm Toolbar. And even though I specify 'manual' vs 'auto' DefenseNet application control, the installer goes ahead and sets it to 'auto' anyway.

    Also, ZA's latest clean.exe removal tool did not remove the program settings that were set in the application control. Firefox launched and connected without the newly installed copy of ZA popping up an alert about it.

    I found this thread where GeorgeV recommends running AppRemover and CCleaner in addition to ZA's clean.exe tool. I'm now wondering if my problem with ZA not blocking system IP addresses might be a result of settings in registry that aren't being removed when I uninstall and set up a new version of ZA.

    I'd really appreciate it if someone could clear this up for me.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by beejinops; January 27th, 2015 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Clarification

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    Moved... OK. I wasn't sure which forum to post this issue to. No thoughts from anyone yet though. Still unsure about how ZA should behave by default though. Would certainly appreciate any input on this.
    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    OK... I'm not coming down with symtoms of dementia. I just hooked up an old WinXP system up to this LAN and installed an ancient copy of ZA 3.7.211 I've had backed up for years. Without any changes to its default installation, it blocks all other computers on this LAN as I remember all copies of ZA always have in the past.

    This means I've got some kind of security issue going on the 3 systems I wrote about above.

    Again, if anyone reading this could help, I'd very much appreciate it.
    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    Hi

    could you please refine and explain better your problem? Is it about trusted zone, IP addresses or application control?

    Can you also specify exactly which OS are you using in origin? All XP? Windows 7? ZA will react differently in term of autoconfiguration if installed on XP or WIN7/8.

    Thanks,
    Fax

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    could you please refine and explain better your problem? Is it about trusted zone, IP addresses or application control?

    Can you also specify exactly which OS are you using in origin? All XP? Windows 7? ZA will react differently in term of autoconfiguration if installed on XP or WIN7/8.
    Sure Fax... Thanks for your input.

    The problem is this. With no IP addresses set in the Trusted Zone in the ZA configuration on each of 3 computers on this LAN, each of the 3 systems CAN STILL access files/foilders on each of the other systems.

    Here's a summery of the problem:

    I have ZoneAlarm Free version 13.3.209.000 installed on 3 systems connected to this LAN that are having the same problem:

    * 2 Windows 7 systems
    * 1 Windows Vista system.

    Again, with no IP addresses manually configured for the Trusted Zone at all in "Basic Firewall" > "View Zones" for each system, ZA IS NOT BLOCKING any system on the LAN from accessing any other.

    A default installation on each system always leaves 2 values automatically set up in the Trusted Zone:

    ....Name..............IP Address................Entry Type.....Zone
    * Network...192.168.1.0/255.255.255.0....Network......Trusted
    * DHCP.......192.168.1.1........................IP Address...Trusted

    In order to allow 1 of the systems on this LAN to access another, I have always added the IP addresses of the 2 other systems to the Trusted Zone in the copy of ZA on that system. Then I have to do the same for the other 2.

    But as I've written, suddenly all 3 systems were able to access files & folders on each other without ANY IP addresses set in the Trusted Zone.

    I first noticed this after I upgraded the firmware on an old GT704-W-GB Actiontec modem/router the other night. In the past, I've found that after working on the router, perhaps changing which ports the cables are plugged into, the IP Addresses of connected systems get changed. At that point I've always had to go into ZA settings on the effected systems and enter the new IP addresses to permit those 3 systems to access each other.

    So after the firmware upgrade, I checked the IP addresses configured in ZA on each system, and found they had indeed changed. But this time I found all 3 were still able to access each other, even with the wrong IP addresses configured.

    As a test at that point, I deleted ALL the IP addresses in ZA on all 3 systems that I'd set up manually for the Trusted Zone. That just left the two default settings (see above) ZA had set up by default. But I found that all 3 systems are still able to access files and folders on each of the other 2 systems.

    I'm concerned that something recently has breached the security on the whole LAN. Perhaps a virus in the firmware I loaded onto the GT704-W-GB Actiontec modem/router.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by beejinops; January 29th, 2015 at 05:23 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    I am not sure I have entirely understood the problem, for the setup you posted its normal (and by design) that the systems attached to the router can see each others. This is because the network is in the trusted zone. You do not necessarily need to add manually the IPs of the PCs/Printers/Devices in your network to access to them unless you have a problem with a specific software.

    The above is the default behaviour of WIN7/WIN8. At install ZA takes the configuration from your OS. If instead you install ZA on XP, it will ask at install where to place your network (trusted or public).

    Summary: there are no security concerns and what you describe seems just a coincidence. Its all fine

    Thanks,
    Fax

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    Thanks to fax, and GeorgeV in a private message, for helping me figure out what's happened here. I'm certain now that upgrading my router firmware was the root of this issue.

    My router firmware has been operating differently since I upgraded it last week. After the upgrade it instantly lost its connection to the Internet, and I was on the phone for quite a while with my ISP support people to get it reconfigured.

    The next change I noticed was that the router no longer logged me out of browser sessions after a set timeout. Now, as long as I keep a web browser open to its configuration interface, I can continue to access settings no matter how long I'm inactive.

    After that, I noticed the router had changed IP addresses for systems on the LAN. With the way I've had ZA configured for years now, that has always meant I would have to go into ZA "View Zones" settings on all connected PCs, and change the manually set IP addresses there to match. No PC should have been able to even detect the presence of another PC on the LAN. Even ping requests should have timed out. But that seems not to be the case anymore with this new router firmware.

    My fix for this has been to change the two Zone values for Network and DHCP that ZA had set up by default from Trusted to Public:

    ....Name..............IP Address................Entry Type.....Zone
    * Network...192.168.1.0/255.255.255.0....Network......Public
    * DHCP.......192.168.1.1........................IP Address...Public

    With that set, I'm back to the point where Windows PCs running ZA (as I've had it configured) can't detect or access shared files/folders on other PCs connected to the LAN unless I add their addresses to the Trusted zone in ZA. Don't know if that would be the case if there were any connected MAC or Linux based systems. Wish I had a bit more comprehensive grasp on understanding computer networking. But it seems I haven't had any serious security breaches.
    Last edited by beejinops; February 1st, 2015 at 03:12 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    Hi!

    I would not recommend setting your router IP (DHCP IP) to public as you may have problem to connect to internet. So, while its OK for the network to stay as public (if you do not want to share or use resources from your LAN), the DHCP should remain as TRUSTED to ensure you have stable internet connection.

    Thanks,
    Fax

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Problems getting ZA Free to block IPs

    OK fax... I'll set that. Thanks again for your input on this issue.

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