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Thread: Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

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  1. #1
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    Default Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

    Hello ZoneAlarm,

    I have a Corel Video Studio installed on a Windows 7 PC along with ZoneAlarm. It's a legitimate copy and I use it regularly. It is, however, constantly phoning home and bombarding me with offers which I find annoying considering it is paid for software. e.g. "Holiday Gifting Made Easy - Pick your gift for your special photographer....." Buy Corel PaintShop Pro etc.

    So, I banned "Corel VideoStudio Pro" from accessing the net and "Corel VideoStudio Screen Capture". In fact pretty much everything in my Application Control Settings is banned unless it has a legitimate reason for accessing the net - why should I waste bandwidth to look at an advert for software I have already paid for or don't want? The only programs that can access the net are Firefox and various updaters (yes I have checked very thoroughly that there is no other sneaky named software doing this).

    So, imagine my surprise when I suddenly find that I am presented with another advert from Corel. How on earth did it manage this - it's banned from accessing the net!!!!!?????

    Well it turns out that it is using the "Host Process for Windows Services" in order to gain access and it is completely bypassing the firewall application controls.

    If I ban "Host Process for Windows Services" from accessing the net then Firefox stops working so I can't stop this relentless bombardment from Corel.

    BIG QUESTION: If Corel can do this then so can any program installed on my PC - what is the point of Application Control if all the software has to do is access the net via Host Process for Windows Services?????

    And before anybody asks - yes it is all practically red crosses for all the programs running. Most secure but creates the most alerts is set. DefenseNet is set to manual. I have even turned off the Microsoft Catalog Utilization.

    Could someone explain why this giant sized backdoor seems to be present in ZoneAlarm? More to the point what are you going to do about it?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

    Exact version of ZA used? (right click the ZA icon near the clock --> about --> copy to clipboard --> paste it here). What are the advance setting in ZA under application control? Is application interaction control active? Is advance settings been turned on? Under the "options" for that program in ZA application control what did you have ticked? Do you see any information about allowing a component to use another component of your system?

    Finally have you removed the entry in application control and let it re-create by ZA?

    If that Corel software is legit, did you contact support on how disable the ads? If you don't like what a software do then it should not be there in the first place.

    Thanks,
    fax
    Last edited by Forum-Moderator; December 27th, 2013 at 10:04 AM.

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  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    Exact version of ZA used? (right click the ZA icon near the clock --> about --> copy to clipboard --> paste it here).
    fax
    ZoneAlarm Free Firewall version: 12.0.104.000
    Vsmon version: 12.0.104.000
    Driver version: 12.0.102.000

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    What are the advance setting in ZA under application control?
    fax
    Advanced Settings:
    Application Control - Microsoft Catalog Utilization switched off
    OS Firewall is ticked on
    View Programs - Smart Defense All set to custom. All inbound trusted and internet set to deny. Almost all Outbound trusted and internet set to deny with the exception of browser and updaters (Apple, Avast, Flash etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    Is application interaction control active?
    fax
    I assume you mean "Application Control - Blocks dangerous and unauthorized internet transmissions". Yes, it's switched on.

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    Is advance settings been turned on? Under the "options" for that program in ZA application control what did you have ticked?
    fax
    All programs are set to manual custom defense with the majority banned from accessing the net. It's probably easier to tell you a list of what hasn't been banned from accessing the net!

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    Do you see any information about allowing a component to use another component of your system?
    fax
    Good Question! Okay if I set Host Process for Windows Services to:

    Smart Defense: Custom
    Trust Level: ?
    Outbound Trusted: X
    Outbound Internet: X
    Inbound Trusted: X
    Inbound Internet: X

    Then run Corel VideoStudio Pro X6 then it cannot access the net and the adverts disappear. However Firefox won't access the internet either.

    The minute I change Host Process for Windows Services to:

    Smart Defense: Custom
    Trust Level: ?
    Outbound Trusted: ?
    Outbound Internet: ?
    Inbound Trusted: X
    Inbound Internet: X

    Then launch Corel Video Studio, a ZoneAlarm popup appears with:

    Host Process for Windows Services is trying to access the internet.
    Smart Defense Advisor Recommendation:
    Recommendation: Allow.
    Remember Setting

    So Corel Video Studio is definitely using Host Process for Windows Services to bypass the program controls.

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    Finally have you removed the entry in application control and let it re-create by ZA?
    fax
    Makes no difference as it reappears again and I set it back to custom defense and allow the outbound trusted and internet and block the inbound trusted and internet (otherwise Firefox stops working)

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    If that Corel software is legit, did you contact support on how disable the ads?
    fax
    Yes I can contact Corel - considering it can still access the internet I'm sure they would have shut it down if it wasn't legit. You are, however, missing the point. If Corel Video Studio can slip on a mask and access the internet via Host Process for Windows Services then so can ANY program on my PC - so what's the point of having Application Control Settings. I may as well just make do with the Windows 7 firewall.

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    If you don't like what a software do then it should not be there in the first place.
    fax
    Do you mean Corel Video Studio which I use for work or do you mean ZoneAlarm which seems to have a massive security hole problem?

    Corel Advert Capture.JPGZoneAlarm Application Control Capture.JPG

    Here are the settings and the example advert
    Last edited by fax; December 12th, 2013 at 12:29 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

    uuuhm, as I am not using ZAfree it looks like ZAfree don't have the controls of ZA retail products as you seems not mentioning them. E.g. Advance application control, application interaction control, component control, etc. Also for each program in ZA application control your should have "options" (not just the ticks you mention but a separate windows with additional entries).

    Do you see anything of this? If not, I am afraid what you ask cannot be done with ZAfree.

    I meant contacting Corel as there may be just an easier way to block pop-ups than messing up with ZA or choose another program that does not spam users with commercials

    Thanks,
    Fax
    Last edited by Forum-Moderator; December 27th, 2013 at 10:05 AM.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

    Quote Originally Posted by fax View Post
    uuuhm, as I am not using ZAfree it looks like ZAfree don't have the controls of ZA retail products as you seems not mentioning them. E.g. Advance application control, application interaction control, component control, etc. Also for each program in ZA application control your should have "options" (not just the ticks you mention but a separate windows with additional entries).

    Do you see anything of this? If not, I am afraid what you ask cannot be done with ZAfree.

    I meant contacting Corel as there may be just an easier way to block pop-ups than messing up with ZA or choose another program that does not spam users with commercials

    Thanks,
    Fax
    I'm not sure if the two versions are different, but perhaps you could try this with the commercial version of ZoneAlarm:

    Download the Video Studio demo and install it -

    http://www.corel.com/corel/product/i...anguageCode=en

    Then turn all the application controls in ZoneAlarm to inbound and outbound for Corel Videostudio to deny and then see if it can access the internet (You can test it by clicking the orange icon "Help and Product Information" top right as this accesses Youtube to show the latest information about Corel products or close Corel and wait for the pop up advert - I would imagine the demo will be worse than the paid for version).

    Certainly on the free version of ZoneAlarm it bypasses Application control by using "Host Process for Windows Services"

    There is absolutely no point in setting any of these values in ZoneAlarm if the application controls can be bypassed.....
    Last edited by Forum-Moderator; December 27th, 2013 at 10:05 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

    Sorry, cannot test it right now but you can easily install ZAPro and use the 30 days trial. Remove the free version before installing the pro.

    Also there are plenty of free firewalls out there, if za free does not fit your needs then just try another one.

    thanks,
    Fax
    Last edited by Forum-Moderator; December 27th, 2013 at 10:06 AM.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Corel pop up and connection not blocked by ZAFree

    You can configure ZA to block this sort of thing, if you are concerned about it, but ZA becomes extremely noisy…(lots of constant popup messages)

    But people that want that level of security are OK with a lot of popups.

    As Guru Fax has already pointed out in a previous reply, these advanced features are only available in the paid versions of ZA.
    (Advance application control, application interaction control, component control)

    Also note that the componant in the application your trying to block from using this process can react in unknown and bad ways. It could lead to lockups, crashes and data losts from this application so if you do purchase a paid ZA product and block the process beware of what might happen and there nothing ZA can do about it since its how Corel programmed there application.

    Forum Moderator
    Last edited by Forum-Moderator; December 30th, 2013 at 04:47 PM.
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