Quick post on some security applications...three are updates and one is a new freeware firewall I came across this week.
Comodo Firewall updated to version 126.96.36.1996
I've now removed Sunbelt (Kerio) Personal firewall from our systems (XP/Vista) and moved over to Comodo's Firewall Pro 3.0. It provides multiple layers of system protections at a great price; it's free!
Comodo Firewall Pro 3.0 - (freeware) - Supports both XP and Vista in x32 and x64 system versions. It provides several levels of outbound firewall protection which may be customized, as well as strong inbound firewall protection. You can also enable several levels of Host Intrusion Prevention (HIPS) with the Defense+ settings. Because Comodo comes with a white-list of pre-approved applications, the "chatter" from the program after you first install it is remarkably low. The alerts are well designed and provide great feedback for both geeks and noobies. The installer mode allows you to approve an installation process so you don't get overwhelmed with alert requests when an installer program runs (if you so enable).
I saw via an RSS feed the program had been updated to version 188.8.131.526. When I ran the updater process in the program it did not find that any updates were available.
So I manually downloaded the update patch from Comodo. It installed in under a minute and after a quick-reboot of the system, was up and functioning.
I really recommend Comodo firewall, despite this update hiccup.
heise Security Offline Update updated to version 4.64
I would be lost at work maintaining our systems without heise Security Offline Update tool.
This application allows you to select from Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP/Server 2003 x64 versions, and Windows Vista operating systems. You can also select from Office 2000, XP, 2003, and 2007 applications. Once you have your targets platforms selected, you can then decide to make a "cross-product" DVD that rolls all your selections into one disk, or make individual CD's for each platform. The program then downloads the update catalogs directly from Microsoft and fetches all the updates directly from the Microsoft servers. When it is all done, you can burn the ISO(s) to disk media or use a product like "ISO Buster" to unpack the ISO to USB media, which is what I do. Run the updater client from CD/USB and it will scan the system for needed updates and apply them, all without need of an network connection. It is a real time saver.
Version 4.64 - (freeware) - brings a few more tweaks to this great tool: Support added for x64 Operating Systems, UpdateInstaller.exe reads its defaults from UpdateInstaller.ini now, FAQs added, Fix: IE6 setup file filelist.dat contained invalid entries if generated using 12h (AM/PM) time format, Fix (defect #13): Service 'automatic updates' (wuauserv) will be started automatically, Fix: KB823718 (MDAC under Windows 2000) and KB931906 (CAPICOM) were missing.
The download file name for this package confused me for a bit: ctupdate4.64mas.zip. And unpacking it added to my wonder. The standard program icon had been changed to a red swirl for some reason. Then I took a closer look and got it; heise is getting into the holiday cheer! ctupdate is the name of the application, 4x64 is the version number, and "mas" ties into the "x" to make Christmas. And the revised program icon's red swirl? Upon closer inspection it is a Santa hat!
Feel the security cheer!
Online Armor firewall
This one isn't really an "update" as it is a new firewall product XP users might want to consider. I've already listed a number of good and free firewall products before (both XP and Vista compatible), and in this post have gushed about my pleasure with Comodo's free firewall. However, here is one more that might be special enough to warrant a look.
Online Armor Free Firewall - (freeware) - XP only. Online Armor's free firewall offers quite a bit less protection than their $ product. What it does offer appears to be outstanding outbound "leak" firewalling protection. Matousec recently found that it was one of two products that offered superior protection against programs attempting to breach it and get out.
So if you are more worried about what is getting out of your system instead of just what is trying to get in, consider taking a look at Online Armor.
Check Point's ZoneAlarm firewall updated to version 7.0.462.000
I haven't used ZoneAlarm (free) for many years now, but it remains a trusted and popular product.
This latest version provides a number of changes that should make ZA fans happy; including performance improvements to speed system booting, stability refinements for crash reduction, system shutdown hangs, and installation and upgrade issues. The program has been made more compatible with Intuit software. And now includes an "...optional Spy Blocker toolbar for IE and Firefox which blocks spyware distribution sites and offers convenient search functionality."
Lot's of good stuff here.