Friday, 11 July 2008

Can't connect to Internet? Windows & ZoneAlarm

Problem not being able to connect to the Net since Tuesday/Wednesday? (Obviously you're viewing this on a different computer!) If you have Windows XP or Windows 2000, it's likely your loss of internet access was down to Microsoft's Windows Patch Tuesday update on 9 July, which ZoneAlarm really didn't get on with. (Vista users weren't affected.)

The quick solution: download and install ZoneAlarm's update - which ZoneAlarm released very quickly, kudos to them.

Specifically, it was a vital Microsoft security upgrade (KB951748) to patch vulnerabilities in the internet's Domain Name System which, in non-techie speak, could allow bad guys to fake things behind the scenes so that trying to go to a legit web address might actually take you to a different, malicious site which had "spoofed" that address, completely unbeknownst to you. (See this good explanation of the DNS security hole, and how Microsoft tried to close it but then ZoneAlarm blocked everything.)

Even the BBC reported the lost internet access problem yesterday, so widespread was it - so I probably don't need to as well... but it doesn't hurt, and it might help people who've not come across other reports.

(When I was first hit by this issue, I rolled back my PC to an earlier stage using GoBack, found out what the cause was, then uninstalled KB951748. When ZoneAlarm released their update, I upgraded, then installed KB951748. If you got rid of KB951748 too, make sure you reinstall it after updating ZoneAlarm as it's a critical security patch.)


TonNet said...

Thanks for the heads up. I was one of the users affected, I even called my ISP and then I figured it out that was a conflict with ZA and ...who knew it.

Your post is the first one I've got in touch with to solve the problem. Thank you!

Blogsdna said...

Well Culprit behind this internet access problem with Zone Alarm users is Recent Microsoft Patches. You need to uninstall Zone Alarm for a time till latest Patches are made available

Improbulus said...

Thanks for the feedback

Glad it was of help, TonNet.

But @Blogsna & everyone else, no don't uninstall ZoneAlarm! Instead, upgrade it - see the links in my post. The newest version of ZoneAlarm fixes the problem and you can (and should) reinstall the Microsoft KB951748 patch.

I'm using my PC now with the latest ZoneAlarm and KB951748 installed, with no Internet access problems.

Anonymous said...

I spent hours with my internet provider and they had no idea.

thanks for this help.

Improbulus said...

Pleased it help, Anon, thanks for the feedback.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. Returned from vacation yesterday. Tried for hours to connect to internet. finally searched google at work today and found this. Got it to work now. Thanks again.