Sep 16, 2010

ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq Zonealarm Marketing Trick


I turned on my computer today to find this Zonealarm pop up on my desktop. Real or fake? Turns out it's fake, and a dirty marketing ploy by Zonealarm. I never thought they'd stoop to this level where they'd try and send SCAREWARE to users of their Zonealarm Free in order to push us into buying their Antivirus products. Common Zonealarm, you guys are better than that!

*Note* although this is a sketchy marketing trick, your computer may actually be infected with other viruses. If you don't have an Antivirus software, please take the opportunity to check out AVG Free, alternatively, for an Antivirus + Firewall solution to purchase, AVG Internet Security 9.0 is what I'd recommend.

Additional info in the comments section.

Chat with their customer support:
http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/support/zonealarm-customer-service.htm

At the end of the chat session, you'll be given a link to send a message to their developers.

Use this message if you'd like:
"Your new Zeus spam message is very disappointing to me as a consumer and a user. I have been a loyal user of your software, and I am surprised that you'd try and scare me into purchasing your software. Could you please let the quality of your software stand for itself and leave the purchasing decision up to the consumer? Please don't send these messages. It degrades the integrity of your company and software."

Best wishes,
-Tri

74 comments:

  1. Hi Tri

    I think that you are right with respect to what you write about "ZoneAlarm" "SCAREWARE". But to make matters worse (to scare people more) then if you click the "See Threat Details" then they will show you a list that claims that neither "Norton", "Trend Micro" , "Free AVG", "Free Avast" nor "Free Avira" will protect you against "ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq".
    I just got the "ZoneAlarm" threat popup today (semptember 17 , 2010).

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  2. I thought so as much. Scanned and nothing. I'm uninstalling for this is way too low. Too bad, since I've been a user for years and years.

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  3. Random Internet PersonSeptember 17, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    As the first poster mentioned, Zonealarm claims something that might be an outright lie. I would not be surprised to see if the listed antivirus companies took legal action against Zonealarm because of this.

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  4. yeah, they used the same time for everyone. wow. that is really lame. scared me. well not really i was like wtf, i dont download anything, why is this up. lol thank for heads up

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  5. shame on check point!

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  6. Hi guys, thank you for the additional info.

    Zonealarm is using a play on words here where they state "ZeuS Trojan family has infected millions of PCs worldwide," which may be true, but AVG, Avast, Avira, and Microsoft Security Essentials already protects against many of the ZeuS Trojan family*. What we need to question is how many have been infected with this new variant ZeuS.Zbot "aoaq." Hopefully, not many.

    I'm sure Zonealarm doesn't protect against 100% of viruses out there and AVG, Avast, etc. can state the same thing as Zonealarm, but we don't see AVG et al. spamming their users do we?

    *Source: http://www.malwarehelp.org/find-and-remove-zeus-zbot-banking-trojan-2009.html

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  7. does anyone have proof that the other AVs that are mentioned there do protect against this threat?
    the same time i've read about this, i searched if Avira protects against it and i didn't find .

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  8. Hi, great question! From Avira and AVG Labs:

    http://techblog.avira.com/2009/12/11/zeus-botnet-commandcontrol-in-the-cloud/en/

    http://viruslab.blog.avg.com/2010/04/zeus-20.html

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  9. I've had zonealarm for years and years, because of this pathetic attempt to get money out of me, i'll be leaving and finding a better alternative.

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  10. Hi everyone,
    I received the same today and as a typical no computer person, of course ,didn't know what to do....
    so thank you for any of this comments, it helped
    me to understand. It is sad how much today life is about business. OK thanks again and have everyone lovely day spam & virus FREE :-)

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  11. So What's the outcome? Do Avira etc. detect this nasty monster?

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  12. How could you zonealarm! I've been using you for 10 years, thinking about changing firewalls now just because of this!

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  13. Using ZA for years and free, I'm not much disapointed about that. You and me simply found this page by google.

    Unexperienced users can spend some money instead of time.

    I'm not surprised, those programmers want a bite of that cake, too.

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  14. A serious error of judgement by a previously respected company.

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  15. I just got the same pop up and was shocked as i run virus checkers etc every week and it never finds anything. I am so disgusted that Zone Alarm could stoop this low. They just lost my business.

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  16. I got the same pop up with the same exact time too. Im so disappointed that ZA would do this!

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  17. To play devil's advocate (and I really really don't work for Checkpoint) I've been using ZA for years and they haven't had a penny out of me. I don't like this tactic at all and they should be ashamed of themselves but it has made me think about either paying for their software or stopping using it. for all we know they could be on the verge of going out of business.

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  18. Major faux pas by ZA. They may get a few people to upgrade following this scare message but how much will they lose? Respect, Loyal customers, reputation? Someone at ZA will get the sack for this. What do ZA say about the bad taste they have left?

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  19. Teehee:

    You are now chatting with 'Jannabelle U.'

    Jannabelle U.: Thank you for contacting ZoneAlarm Customer Service. How may I help you today?

    Me: hello, i have recently received a popup warning me about zeus.zbot.aoaq

    Me: google suggests this is dishonest marketing on behalf of zonealarm to scare customers into upgrading

    Me: would you like to comment?

    Jannabelle U.: I was sent an email telling us that ZoneAlarm was putting out an ad inviting our customers to purchase ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite at a very reasonable price.

    Me: this isn't really a special offer, more of a threat. Zonealarm was once a respected brand, but this scareware approach must surely lose more customers than it gains

    Jannabelle U.: Complaint noted.

    Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 'ZoneAlarm was putting out an ad inviting our customers to purchase ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite'

    That's no ad! I'm looking at it again now and the word 'may' is there get out of jail card isn't it. I've been running extra anti virus checks this morning and looking up how to remove Zeus. I wonder if I can claim for loss of earnings!!?

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  21. well, it said it was discovered before i actually installed my OS so i don't know who they're trying to fool.

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  22. I have the message in my pc today and it reports that have found the virus in 13 september?!?!?!

    Too bad marketing

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  23. Same here 13 september then we were all infested at this date. XD

    Idiotic Vain Failure marketing

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  24. Delving deeper into the warning, I checked the version of AVG that VirusTotal used which they claimed failed to protect users from this latest threat - 9.0.0.851.
    It doesn't appear in AVGs list of versions:

    Current AVG Free version: 9.0.851 Aug 10
    AVG Version history: 8.5.420 Sept 09
    9.0.686 Oct 09
    No version 9.0.0.851 - no wonder it didn't catch the latest threat - it must have been a spoof version.
    I will treat all further warnings from ZoneAlarm with caution.

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  25. i am in complete agreement. i too am extra careful about viruses etc, and have been using ZA for many years. i think it may be time for a change. any suggestions?

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  26. Same here regarding the 13th September date.

    Looks like they have done it before:
    http://privacycom.org/content/release-9-firewalls/zonealarm-free-firewall-threat-or-scam

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  27. So...uh...when it said "discovered September 13th" I kinda read it as "this particular strain of ZeuS was discovered on September 13th" not "We're going to lie to you and tell you we caught a magic trojan virus on everybody's computers on september 13th, everywhere, ever, at the same time."
    Scareware is crappy and all, but zonealarm's been out for awhile...I don't think they would outright lie to their consumers. They also make a firewall, meaning they have the internet, meaning they know that people on the internet talk to each other. Nobody would try something like that under those circumstances.

    Crappy ad technique, but don't compound it by interpreting the message incorrectly.

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  28. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus_(trojan_horse)
    Have you read this?

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  29. Thanks for this entry and google!
    Iam too, as a loyal costumer for years, very disappointed regarding the recent marketing scare spoof.

    Shame on you, ZA!

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  30. This truly is sad. I have always stood by ZA for years now and tell all my friends about it but after this I'm going to remove it, send a complaint, and install Comodo Firewall (which I have heard great things about for a while).

    If anyone is interested here is a link
    http://personalfirewall.comodo.com/free-download.html

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  31. Just to participate in this discussion and to help others, this is how my talk with customer help went:
    =====================================


    Welcome to ZoneAlarm Service Dept Live Chat.
    An online chat agent will be with you shortly.
    You are number 1 in the queue.
    Thank you for waiting.

    You are now chatting with 'Tonya V.'
    Your Ticket ID for this chat is LTK164022683945X
    ------------------------------
    Tonya V.: Thank you for contacting ZoneAlarm Customer Service. How may I help you today?

    Me: Hi there
    Me: I'm a user from The Netherlands and user of your free firewall service
    Me: now I got this weird message today stating I got a high risk virus in my pc. My first question is: Is this actually true?
    Me: it's the ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq virus

    Tonya V.: The message you received was an alert to a particular virus threat. This alert does NOT say you have a virus, only that you need to protect yourself from it. Please disregard the message if you already have an anti-virus solution in place.

    Me: I got my pc fully protected with your great free service as an extra help
    Me: dont you think this is kind of misleading a loyal customer?
    Me: (loyal customer for years and years)

    Tonya V.: I am sorry for the annoyance and confusion. As long as you have an antivirus and a firewall, you have no need to worry.

    Me: Your new Zeus spam message is very disappointing to me as a consumer and a user. I have been a loyal user of your software, and I am surprised that you'd try and scare me into purchasing your software. Could you please let the quality of your software stand for itself and leave the purchasing decision up to the consumer? Please don't send these messages. It degrades the integrity of your company and software.

    Tonya V.: The message you received was an alert to a particular virus threat. This alert does NOT say you have a virus, only that you need to protect yourself from it. Please disregard the message if you already have an anti-virus solution in place.
    ------------------------------
    Chat session has been terminated by the agent.

    =====================================

    After the last message the conversation was terminated immediately.

    My trust-level towards ZA is a lot less now... this sucks.

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  32. i got the same pop up today too!!!! it's bloody annoying!!!

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  33. Tsk tsk. Cheap ass ZoneAlarm. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

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  34. Soooo... Not only ZA is annoying, but even the writer of this post deletes my entry? Damn, how was that not relevant, dude..?

    Never mind, go fuck yourself asshole.

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  35. Were you all "infected", like me, on September 13, 2010 1:59 PM PST ?? ;)

    Wiki says:
    "The Zeus botnet only targets Windows machines, and computers running Windows XP Professional SP2 make up the majority of the botnet. Netwitness did not report on infections among Windows 7 machines."

    And I'm running on Windows 7..

    Nice try, ZA.

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  36. i trust ZA for years and years... now i am gonna say an end to ZA and look 4 an alternative! may comodo!!!
    ZA has become so cheap!!!

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  37. Stupid, counterproductive marketing from ZA
    that said:
    Zbot exists according to reasonable reliable Newsmedium The Guardian:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/nov/18/zbot-zeus-trojan-malware

    Best
    R

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  38. Hi, extremely pissed with zonealarm for doing this, got me extremely worried. Can anyone reccomend me another firewall to download please? I wont be using zonealarm any longer. Is Avira any good?

    Thx all.

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  39. I got the same message today. Glad the first thing I did was google to see if it was fake. And I thought windows security suite were sneaky!

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  40. Do any of you feel a little guilty though? It might not be appropriate, what ZA did, but jeez, you people should at least recognize that you used it for years, like you said, and you just keep using it for years and you keep thinking how nice it is to have for free and you will never pay for it. "What, are you such a food that you'd pay for it?", you ask yourself. You people are all too biased for your own interest, and that is what I've learned here. You never paid for years and never would pay for more decades. You shouldn't pay them $1 per week for protection, $1 per year for protection, $1 per decade. Meanwhile you say that you were loyal and told your friends. Oy vey.

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  41. I'm very disappointed with ZA after this. I had a quick cruise of their forums, and there's next to no mention on this. I assume they're cracking down hard on it.

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  42. is comodo a good replacement for zonealarm?

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  43. Well, didn't pay Zonealarm a cent for many years now and probably other millions of users as well, so they're entitled to pull this marketing scheme once, but only once.. :)

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  44. Listening to Bach and reading these posts is very enlightening. I will still be a loyal user to ZA, but my opinion of them is much less now if they employed this devious marketing strategy. To do so is is a breach of trust that millions may consider a better product. My firewall is like a friend that I could count on. Anymore, I'm not so sure. It hurts to lose a friend.

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  45. Most of the Anti-Virus campaigns are based on scaring people... Not used to this technique from ZA. If they can popup such a window on your computer now, what will they do next ?

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  46. One of the primary methods the perpetrators of this virus uses to deliver this virus is to disguise it in legitimate clothing. This pop-up has likely been created by the criminals to get users to click on the link to buy, thereafter installing the Zeus trojan virus on your machine.

    I too have been using Zone Alarm for years and do not believe this pop-up to be a ploy by them. This is such a classic use of a legitimate program to suck users in to the installation of a virus program.

    Now so many will remove ZoneAlarm from their machines thinking the company is to blame, which will make it even easier for the criminals to penetrate their machines!

    Contact ZoneAlarm for the truth!!

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  47. Methinks W Barnes is very incorrect!

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  48. w.barnes it was sent my zonealarm, i spoke to one of their online chat asisstants. He confirmed it was sent by them. You chat to them also through their website.

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  49. Zone Alarm used to be a well respected product...an effective freeware firewall that didn't install unnecessary crapware. That has changed. With the advent of installing their "security toolbar" which is nothing more than the Yahoo toolbar with different branding, to the multiple instances of updates causing loss of internet connectivity, to this. Scamware employs the same marketing techniques. In addition, Zone Alarm's security suite does no better in preventing a banker trojan from landing on a computer than any other updated and reputable antivirus/antispyware product. It will notify after the fact, but it won't stop something user initiated and until people stop clicking on links, downloading on p2p, opening email attachments, etc., the problem is going to continue. And removal goes far beyond the capability of any a/v product.

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  50. heres a transcript of my chat with the zonealarm helpdesk after i got the Zeus trojab notification:

    Tim D.: Thank you for contacting ZoneAlarm Customer Service. How may I help you today?
    Col: hi Tim
    Tim D.: Hello Col.
    Col: i just got the trojan zeus popup. i'd just like to inform you that i will cease using the software after about 10 years continuous use, because of your company's use of scareware.
    Col: im sure this isnt the first message youve had.
    Col: i thought i'd just come and waste your time for a bit, as your company has just wasted about half an hour of my life googling a trojan that i dont even have yet.
    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. Receiving ads is one of the downfalls of using a free product.
    Col: its not the ad, per se, that i object to. its the scaremongering tactics that go with iut
    Tim D.: That ads is not saying you have it but rather that the free version does not protect against it.
    Col: i understand that. the ad says 'maybe' i have it, but to the average user it looks like a virus has just been detected on their own system
    Col: really really really bad form from zonealarm
    Col: can u recommend any freeware, open source alternatives to zonealarm?
    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. I will pass this along to management.
    Tim D.: I honestly do not know. I use the Security Suite myself. I have never really been a fan of free versions.
    Col: conversely, i have never been a fan of paying for things.
    Col: so - as zonealarm wasted my time, i'd like to waste the time of one of their employees. its what i call tit-for-tat
    Col: do you like football?
    Tim D.: Haha, no problem. No I am actually one of the few that does not follow it.
    Col: fair enough! im sure we can find some common ground. tell me some things you like
    Tim D.: I am sorry, I do have others waiting for chat.
    Tim D.: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
    Col: boo! come on, i still have at least 23mins of yours i need to waste. its really my only way of affecting your companies shareprice, even if it is only to an infinitesimal degree.
    Tim D.: Thank you for chatting with me. We welcome your feedback: please CLICK HERE to complete our Exit Survey or click the Close button.
    Col: would that i had an unending supply of money, i'd buy your company, stop it making silly scaretactics
    Col: and id make YOU the managing director, Tim D
    Col: what do you say?
    Col: we can rule this world together Tim D!
    Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Tim D.: Thank you for contacting ZoneAlarm Customer Service. How may I help you today?
    Col: hi Tim
    Tim D.: Hello Col.
    Col: i just got the trojan zeus popup. i'd just like to inform you that i will cease using the software after about 10 years continuous use, because of your company's use of scareware.
    Col: im sure this isnt the first message youve had.
    Col: i thought i'd just come and waste your time for a bit, as your company has just wasted about half an hour of my life googling a trojan that i dont even have yet.
    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. Receiving ads is one of the downfalls of using a free product.
    Col: its not the ad, per se, that i object to. its the scaremongering tactics that go with iut
    Tim D.: That ads is not saying you have it but rather that the free version does not protect against it.
    Col: i understand that. the ad says 'maybe' i have it, but to the average user it looks like a virus has just been detected on their own system
    Col: really really really bad form from zonealarm
    Col: can u recommend any freeware, open source alternatives to zonealarm?
    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. I will pass this along to management.
    Tim D.: I honestly do not know. I use the Security Suite myself. I have never really been a fan of free versions.
    Col: conversely, i have never been a fan of paying for things.
    Col: so - as zonealarm wasted my time, i'd like to waste the time of one of their employees. its what i call tit-for-tat
    Col: do you like football?
    Tim D.: Haha, no problem. No I am actually one of the few that does not follow it.
    Col: fair enough! im sure we can find some common ground. tell me some things you like
    Tim D.: I am sorry, I do have others waiting for chat.
    Tim D.: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
    Col: boo! come on, i still have at least 23mins of yours i need to waste. its really my only way of affecting your companies shareprice, even if it is only to an infinitesimal degree.
    Tim D.: Thank you for chatting with me. We welcome your feedback: please CLICK HERE to complete our Exit Survey or click the Close button.
    Col: would that i had an unending supply of money, i'd buy your company, stop it making silly scaretactics
    Col: and id make YOU the managing director, Tim D
    Col: what do you say?
    Col: we can rule this world together Tim D!
    Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Tim D.: Thank you for contacting ZoneAlarm Customer Service. How may I help you today?
    Col: hi Tim
    Tim D.: Hello Col.
    Col: i just got the trojan zeus popup. i'd just like to inform you that i will cease using the software after about 10 years continuous use, because of your company's use of scareware.
    Col: im sure this isnt the first message youve had.
    Col: i thought i'd just come and waste your time for a bit, as your company has just wasted about half an hour of my life googling a trojan that i dont even have yet.
    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. Receiving ads is one of the downfalls of using a free product.
    Col: its not the ad, per se, that i object to. its the scaremongering tactics that go with iut
    Tim D.: That ads is not saying you have it but rather that the free version does not protect against it.
    Col: i understand that. the ad says 'maybe' i have it, but to the average user it looks like a virus has just been detected on their own system
    Col: really really really bad form from zonealarm
    Col: can u recommend any freeware, open source alternatives to zonealarm?
    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. I will pass this along to management.
    Tim D.: I honestly do not know. I use the Security Suite myself. I have never really been a fan of free versions.
    Col: conversely, i have never been a fan of paying for things.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Tim D.: Thank you for contacting ZoneAlarm Customer Service. How may I help you today?

    Col: hi Tim

    Tim D.: Hello Col.

    Col: i just got the trojan zeus popup. i'd just like to inform you that i will cease using the software after about 10 years continuous use, because of your company's use of scareware.

    Col: im sure this isnt the first message youve had.

    Col: i thought i'd just come and waste your time for a bit, as your company has just wasted about half an hour of my life googling a trojan that i dont even have yet.

    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. Receiving ads is one of the downfalls of using a free product.

    Col: its not the ad, per se, that i object to. its the scaremongering tactics that go with iut

    Tim D.: That ads is not saying you have it but rather that the free version does not protect against it.

    Col: i understand that. the ad says 'maybe' i have it, but to the average user it looks like a virus has just been detected on their own system

    Col: really really really bad form from zonealarm

    Col: can u recommend any freeware, open source alternatives to zonealarm?

    Tim D.: I do apologize Col. I will pass this along to management.

    Tim D.: I honestly do not know. I use the Security Suite myself. I have never really been a fan of free versions.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Col: conversely, i have never been a fan of paying for things.

    Col: so - as zonealarm wasted my time, i'd like to waste the time of one of their employees. its what i call tit-for-tat

    Col: do you like football?

    Tim D.: Haha, no problem. No I am actually one of the few that does not follow it.

    Col: fair enough! im sure we can find some common ground. tell me some things you like

    Tim D.: I am sorry, I do have others waiting for chat.

    Tim D.: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

    Col: boo! come on, i still have at least 23mins of yours i need to waste. its really my only way of affecting your companies shareprice, even if it is only to an infinitesimal degree.

    Tim D.: Thank you for chatting with me. We welcome your feedback: please CLICK HERE to complete our Exit Survey or click the Close button.

    Col: would that i had an unending supply of money, i'd buy your company, stop it making silly scaretactics

    Col: and id make YOU the managing director, Tim D

    Col: what do you say?

    Col: we can rule this world together Tim D!

    Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

    ReplyDelete
  55. That is really some deceiptful techniques by ZA.

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  56. Got this too.
    Was freaking out, until I found this post searching for the worm name.

    It actually really makes us think it discovered a threat, not that we COULD be affected...

    That's really a shame!

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  57. I agree with this. I think it's such a dishonest and sneaky way of marketing, and I'm looking for an alternative to ZoneAlarm.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Just had the message. How low can you go Check Point. None techi-users like myself would panic normally, it's a good job I checked this site.....Cheers I made this and so you can....

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  59. Ya this was irritating. I've been a long time Zone-Alarm user, but they've gotta have better ways to sell.

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  60. Yeah I just got this today on my computer pop up ? I use AVG antivirus 8.5.445 will it detect it? So far its hasn't detected anything. Could you go in your search files and put in ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq and find a file on it if it was on your computer? I have AVG for antivirus Spydoctor for spyware and the free zone alarm. Sometimes programs don't work together so now I don't know what to do. I use to have Kaspersky Internet suite and I could'nt find other spyware program etc that were compatible so what to do?

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  61. Concur, cheap tactic. I've been a ZoneAlarm user for years. That is the only reason it gets a second chance. If I had just installed it I would be recommending something else.

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  62. Again, "Discovered September 13th" does not necessarily mean they're trying to tell you they found it on YOUR computer on September 13th. ZeuS is always creating new strains like any other virus, they just mean a new VERSION was discovered on September 13th.
    ZoneAlarm isn't lying to you, they're just using rude and annoying tactics.

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  63. Does anybody else think it is funny that you're complaining about a free product sending an advertisement? Seriously, it's free and you're not a real customer unless you open your wallet. Lucky they even take the time of day to look at your "chat"

    If ZoneAlarm were smart, they would stop supporting the free version at this point... little whiners.

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  64. comments as expected from a bunch of whingeing freeloaders' - za is informing you of a genuine & serious risk so either pay up or take you chances - lol do you honestly think that they are responsible for the security of your system foc?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi, a more definite answer has been made by these guys about dealing with this hoax.

    Source: http://pinoytutorial.com/techtorial/zeus-zbot-aoaq-hoax-how-to-remove/

    It appears they've just invented the word 'AOAQ' to make it appear as a real Zeus Trojan.

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  66. This message suddening pop up today, and it did "scare" me a little. Finally find this site during some searching of the trojan :)

    ZoneAlarm is using tactic to "scare" people. I suppose it might get a lot of buyers from those that are not awared of such tactics. Gaining money with reputation.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Re: "comments as expected from a bunch of whingeing freeloaders' - za is informing you of a genuine & serious risk "

    Uh huh. A risk that has been around since at least 2007. See this: http://threatinfo.trendmicro.com/vinfo/web_attacks/ZeuS_and_its_Continuing_Drive_Towards_Stealing_Online_Data.html

    This is nothing more than a scare tactic and an example of piss poor marketing technique.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I thought it odd that it came up the day after the weekly scan. Especially since I had downloaded nothing odd and Firefox had encountered nothing.

    Until now I put up with the annoying upgrade popup at startup, but this is going too far. I'm going to find another firewall with program control/game mode.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Go buy Zone Alarm stocks now! they will make fortune from nasty trick...

    ReplyDelete
  70. Pay for a program if you like to use it. You won't have problems with pop-ups. There is no excuse for continuously using a free program, that is consistently updated and does a good job, and never once paying for it.

    The popup message in ZoneAlarm Free Firewall was intended as an alert to a virus our technology discovered. We wanted to proactively let our users know that ZoneAlarm Free Firewall and other AV products do not fully protect from this virus. It was never our intent to lead customers to believe they have a virus on their computer. This was purely an informative message about a legitimate and serious virus that also included information about the differences in protection of various products, and how to get protection against it. ZoneAlarm is committed to providing our customers with the best protection and considers it our job to proactively alert users whenever a potential risk is looming rather than wait for the damage to be done.

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  71. Free Zone Alarm is meant to benefit consumer and Zone Alarm. Yet, Zone Alarm had a good reputation long since built with word of mouth by Free users. I have reported their "high risk" scare statement as Wire Fraud; reporting to an agency set up by the F.B.I. Zone Alarm got my money, but they ought to do damage control now by firing the marketing people who took advantage of people like me. By the way, I have had nothing but problems with their pay product; and their specialist was unable to fix it. I did not believe I had a virus from the ZA spam. What I did believe is the risk was high; whereas a comment above says there is no report of the virus infecting Windows 7 (I have Vista): the high risk description is therefore fraudulent, meant to be deceptive, and not at all a mere "proactive alert" service.

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  72. Zonealarm Free is relatively crippled now so that you have to get the pay-for version to get the whole enchilada. So why not just install NOT crippled, higher rated, free Firewalls like Comodo or Online Armor? I use Comodo and recommend it.

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