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2008-07-13

Help ZoneAlarm Users Get Back on the Internet

Although this should have blown over by now, you might have some family, friends, and colleagues who were unable to access the Internet after last week's security updates from Microsoft.

Apparently the problem is limited to ZoneAlarm users.  They can't see this post and the available remedies because they can't get to the Internet unless they figure out to

  • remove ZoneAlarm or at least reduce its protection level from "High" to "Medium" long enough to install an update from the ZoneAlarm site
       
  • remove the Microsoft updates with the DNS vulnerability fix (although not really necessary, and removal can introduce new problems)

The basic situation is covered in the Microsoft Security Bulletin under the FAQ section and this Known Issues article.  The ZoneAlarm workaround and updates can be found in this announcementUpdate: Joel Hruska has a great 2008-07-14 summary of the roll-out of the DNS vulnerability fix on Ars Technica.  There is no indication of the disconnect with ZoneAlarm's producer, Check Point Software.

Also, if you or others are using ZoneAlarm on Windows and haven't run Microsoft Update in a while, be sure to update ZoneAlarm first.  Then use Microsoft Update to obtain the DNS vulnerability fix and other recent security updates.


No longer using ZoneAlarm myself, I did not learn about this issue until it was raised by someone looking for information on an Interoperability Forum.  This is an interesting interoperability case.  The ZoneAlarm package is listed by US-CERT as not being vulnerable to the DNS vulnerability, but there was apparently a secondary dependency on the correction made to Windows itself.  How to protect against disconnects of this kind is partly an interoperability issue, it seems to me.  I wonder whether this is an example of the hazard discussed in Interoperability: No Code Need Apply?

 
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$$Author: Orcmid $
$$Date: 08-10-07 13:22 $
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