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Windows 7: Are firewalls really needed?

20 Sep 2010   #31
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Maxxwire.

I'll get back to you tomorrow sometime on the above.

Time for bed on this end.
Mike


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Sep 2010   #32
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by deepakumar View Post
Hey Maxx i want to know what's your take on Comodo Firewall vs Windows Firewall???
i'm thinking of getting my firewall up though i use internet cautiously but the world is full of uncertainties & surprises...!!!! i'm sure you agree on that?
The thing that I like about the Comodo Firewall is that you can set it in Custom Policy Mode and it will let you know about every program that tries to access the internet which in turn allows you to decide which programs you personally want to allow internet access instead of every program being allowed internet access by default with Windows Firewall.

Comodo is definitely not for everyone or those who do not care what information is disseminated from their computer, but if you are the kind of person who would like to make these kind of decisions and doesn't mind taking the time to ask the occasional question of those who are more experienced then a granularly programmable software program like Comodo may be for you. Comodo 2011 has just been released and it has some amazing new features like automatic sandboxing, cloud behavioral blocker, cloud AV scanner and of course the world's top rated Software Firewall\ HIPS combination so you might want to check it out on their website where the software is always free.

~Maxx~
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20 Sep 2010   #33
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maxxwire View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Hopalong X View Post
I have my firewall up and keeping it up.
I don't know exactly the "how or why" but I know the results of not having one.

Kind of understand the basics but not all the technical.
Mike
And that's all the basic fundamental understanding that's needed. Fortunately if someone wants to gain a more in depth knowledge of how to control there are plenty of Firewall experts who are more than willing to share what they know.

Although I'm no expert I do know that its a good idea to be aware of what is going on in your Firewall. A good example of this was something that I found a while back in the top rated Comodo Defense+ HIPS log (which is a much higher level of desktop security than UAC which it replaced as you can see below) of rundll32.exe opening each and every one of my programs along with many of the .dll's that they use in preparation for a regularly scheduled report to MS. At first I was totally shocked because I had never seen this before in Vista and then I learned that this particular style of intense and in depth information gathering was new to Win 7.



This is just a small portion of the regularly scheduled comprehensive information gathering session that went on for several hours just as it does in all Win 7 computers! I had no idea how to trace this down, but within the hour I was able to end it forever with help from the vast security conscience community of computer users available on the internet. If you want I can in turn show you how to stop this regularly scheduled gathering of information from your Win 7 computer before it even reaches the Firewall.

~Maxx~
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@ Maxx what version of Comodo firewall are you using???i've 3.14.13 for XP & Vista 32...can you suggest 1 (Comodo) for Windows 7 Build 7600 x86??? Thank you & also how to show the regular schedule information can be gathered from my Win7 before it reaches the Firewall (though i know how a firewall works & filter packet data) but this would be a new learning for me...!!!!
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20 Sep 2010   #34
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by deepakumar View Post
@ Maxx what version of Comodo firewall are you using???i've 3.14.13 for XP & Vista 32...can you suggest 1 (Comodo) for Windows 7 Build 7600 x86??? Thank you & also how to show the regular schedule information can be gathered from my Win7 before it reaches the Firewall (though i know how a firewall works & filter packet data) but this would be a new learning for me...!!!!
deepakumar- On my Win 7 x64 desktop I started with the very reliable Comodo v3.14 and then upgraded to v4.1 but there were a few problems with the Comodo Sandbox sandboxing programs that it was instructed not to for example the browser so I went back to v3.14 up until last week when Comodo v5.0 was released and I haven't had any of the problems I had with v4.1. I would definately recommend Comodo 2011 (v5.0) for all of your computers especially your Win 7 x86 computer because this new version has so many new layers of state of the art computer security that will keep it safe and secure both from things coming from and going to the internet.

The systematic scheduling of System32\rundll32.exe do in depth information gathering in Windows 7 has been pre-programmed into the Task Scheduler for many years to come by MS for their Customer Experience Improvement Program for which the information gathering continues on even though the user has opted out of CEIP.



The simple method would be to click Start and type and then click on Task Scheduler. Next go into the file tree and click on Microsoft and all of the scheduled tasks will appear. Select the group of tasks by clicking on the title and by right clicking on any individual task you can select which action you want to take.

You may notice in the graphic that I have deleted 3 of the scheduled CEIP information gathering tasks under Customer Experience Improvement Program because even though officially opted out of CEIP in Win 7 the scheduled task information gathering will continue. As I understand this is new to Win 7 and there are even more scheduled CEIP information gathering tasks under Application Experience...



After Disabling these scheduled tasks along with 2 more under the heading DiskDiagnostic my Win 7 computer now boots with 4 less programs starting and running all day and that is my version of a genuine Customer Experience Improvement! I plan on deleting these CEIP information gathering tasks as soon as I am 100% sure that there have been no negative consequences to preventing this information gathering.

Speaking of which here is the Comodo Defense+ log that shows the scheduled Application Experience information gathering in progress as rundll32.exe silently opens each of the programs on my computer and spends a good 2 minutes examining each one until it starts the next which is what initially started my investigation into this matter. This is just a 1 hour excerpt out of an MS scheduled application information gathering process that went on for hours even though I had officially opted out of CEIP when I first set up the computer...



~Maxx~
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #35
malexous

Arch Linux 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maxxwire View Post
The thing that I like about the Comodo Firewall is that you can set it in Custom Policy Mode and it will let you know about every program that tries to access the internet which in turn allows you to decide which programs you personally want to allow internet access
That's also what I like about the Norton firewall. You can change one setting to have it prompt for everything or you can leave it at default and let it decide for you.

At default, the Norton firewall is very effective.
For a period a few weeks ago, it was blocking intrusion attempts to my sister's computer. I also recently came across a user with Norton 2009 installed (2011 is out). They had some sort of infection Norton didn't detect but the firewall kept blocking the malware from calling home.

I'm currently using Windows Firewall at default.
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20 Sep 2010   #36
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

[QUOTE=malexous;970104]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maxxwire View Post
I'm currently using Windows Firewall at default.
Are you also using Sandboxie as your signature indicates?

~Maxx~
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #37
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Here 2 question: 1 for Maxx: what is HIPS since you've been mentioning in most of your post (i know its similar to UAC but not sure)??
2nd for all my friends: should i have two firewall e.g. Windows & Comodo/Norton etc or just 1 at a time??? I know at times it does conflict but at times it run smooth as well like few years ago i had Norton & Comodo both they worked fine (OS was XP)...so i want to know if 1 should have just 1 or can have 2 as well????
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21 Sep 2010   #38
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

deepakumar- Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) proactively monitors systems and system processes to detect and prevent system changes such as rootkit installations, inter-process memory injections, key-loggers and much more. HIPS technology is driven by a white list architecture which identifies trusted applications and prevents untrusted applications being installed or running on the computer. Default deny HIPS is so powerful that it can detect zero day Malware that a black list antivirus does not yet have the definitions for.

As far as a Firewall goes the basic rule of thumb is one per computer. I don't know how you could need more than one detailed customized set of Firewall rules governing internet traffic on your computer anyway.

~Maxx~
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #39
deepakumar

windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thank you for the info. again Maxx ....well i know but this asked to me by some1 & since as i said in the past i used 2 but now things are different & i know that 1 can't run 2 firewall on same comp. but i wanted to check this 1st with you guys before i can confirm the same to other person...but again
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21 Sep 2010   #40
Maxxwire

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

deepakumar- I can assure you that the very best advise is to run just 1 Firewall and whichever one you choose make sure to take some time to learn how it works and how you can use its features to protect your computer from both unwanted intrusion and from unwanted communication from programs which may have gathered important information from within your computer that are trying to send it out over the internet.

~Maxx~
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