ZoneAlarm Forcefield offers little protection

Posted on Friday, May 23 2008 @ 07:21 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
InfoWorld reports Check Poitn's virtualized browser security client, ZoneAlarm ForceField, doesn't turn out to be as good as advertised. The reporter tested the product by visiting some malicious websites and his test system got infected by malware in less than a minute:
To be frank, I've reviewed similar over-marketed and under-effective virtualized or "sandbox" security clients over the years (most notably GreenBorder, subsequently acquired by Google), all of which promised to provide superior protection against all malicious Internet threats. Unfortunately, although ForceField does offer some real improvements over the other products I've reviewed, it wasn't enough to stop malware from infecting my test systems. In less than a minute, by clicking only my third malicious Web site link, my test system was silently compromised without so much as a chirp out of ForceField. This is not to say that ForceField didn't deliver some protection and detection, but I'm getting ahead of my review.

Although I am overly skeptical of limited virtualization products, I'm a big fan of both Check Point and ZoneAlarm, and I was eager to see what the solution brought to the space. Unfortunately, Check Point's accompanying whitepaper re-awakened my initial skepticism by using new, unnecessary technical jargon ("Web-based Super Attacks," "New Advanced Technologies") and over-promising the protection ForceField can provide ("reject all changes to the user's PC unless the user specifically solicits them"), while overly criticizing traditional defenses.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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