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BlackICE Defender

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    6 Reviews
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      30.05.2002 19:25
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      Is your Internet connection safe? Probably not in 9/10 browsers. Thats a fact. ISS incidentally, who bought BlackICE, are probably the most reputable security company with regard to Internet and corporate network security products for intrusion detection and vulnerability probing. When you dial into the Internet or use your ADSL/Cable Modem you are connected to one BIG network. Not only can you connect to web sites but you can connect to other people browsing just like you all over the world directly onto their modem. Coomon operating systems like MS Windows have certain built-in features when installed by default. Most people who have a fast internet connection will share it amongst other PC's in their home, much like a business network. Windows has a useful, but very dangerous, feature called ICS or Internet Connection Sharing. A small 'peer-to-peer' network (PC's connecting to PC's for file and print sharing) connected to the Internet exposes all the available resources on your PC to anyone who feels like a look on the Internet. In this manner, your hard disk can be accessed by anyone on the Internet!! Not good!! Especially when you have your personal finance records like budgets, letters etc. etc. saved away in My Documents. BlackICE Defender is a personal firewall application. Imagine your PC is a business. Lots of people work in this business with a telelphone on their desk. Your Internet connection works very much like their telephone exchange call management system. You phone the business telelphone number and it asks you what extension you want to speak to someone who works their. Every single thing connected to the Internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address, the phone number. Now, to browse the internet and collect your email at the same time your PC uses 'port numbers', same as the extension numbers, to perform various tasks. For example, SMTP, used for sending email is po
      rt 25. POP3, a mailbox where you pick up your mail is port 110. HTTP, what your browser uses to view web pages is port 80 and so on. So for example, my PC would connect or 'phone' a web site and use extension 80 to view the web pages. Hackers will often scan huge ranges of IP addresses (like dialling numbers in a phone book) to find PC's with a certain Trojan virus installed or a certain port open for attack. Trojans are applications written that allow hackers to access your PC and often take full control of it from anywhere on the Internet. Very often these Trojan virii contain the ability to capture keystrokes so they can also record passwords used for ISP accounts and even your personal banking on the net. Once they have found you are vulnerable, they will come back! BlackICE will intercept these incoming 'telelphone calls' and see if they are innocent or suspicious. By looking at the port number (extension number) it can also detetct if someone is probing your PC for known Trojans or services. PC's sharing files and printers on a network use ports 139, 138 and 137 with Microsoft products. If your PC is exposing these ports on the Internet, anyone else can use these resources just the same as your PC's linked together at home. The Internet is one BIG network after all. BalckICE version I have also alerts you if an application is trying to access the network and ask you if you want it to or not. This is a very good way of detecting Trojan programs that may not be detected by your anti-virus software yet. Belt and braces so to speak. A very tuneable piece of software too. You can open and close ports to allow access into your PC to specific IP addresses or all IP addresses. The 'Alerts' window in my opinion leaves a little to be desired. I would prefer to see the full details of the attack by port number and packet size. As a general view it is useful but a bit limited i
      n my opinion. By default, BlackICE is configured fairly well to stop anything untoward happening to your PC from the outside. Changing these settings requires a bit of knowledge in some places!! Security wise, there are four settings from Trusting to Paranoid. The problem here is that settings above Trusting can block UDP packets, for example, using Netmeeting incoming video streams can be viewed as malicious and blocked. Here you either have to lower your settings or trust the IP sending the video stream from the Alerts window by right clicking and Trust this IP.... Personally, I much prefer this application over Zone Alalrm. I found Zone Alarm hard to configure how I wanted it, the pop-ups were extremely annoying and didn't go away!!! The advantage is Zone Alarm is free but you gets what ya pay for these days especially in software!

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        03.05.2002 21:48

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        Quite a few opinions have been written about this product, but none since NetworkICE (the company responsible for BlackICE) was taken over by Internet Security Systems (ISS). A while after this takeover went public, ISS announced a new version of BlackICE that included functionality from some of their other products. I've been using BlackICE for years, and it's always been a solid and dependable personal firewall. Where it has lacked is in the area of outgoing filtering. Products like ZoneAlarm not only stop external connections, but also filter outgoing data such as from a trojan or virus. BlackICE has never had this feature. Until now. With ISS releasing BlackICE PC Protection 3.5 (the new name for BlackICE Defender), they have included an 'Application Protection' system. This works by creating a catalogue of programmes during BlackICE's installation procedure. If a programme attempts to run that isn't on the list (even if it doesn't access the internet) BlackICE will warn you and block the attempt. There are a number of downsides to this new feature, however. The main downside is that you have to install BlackICE on a clean installation. If a file is infected with a trojan at the time of install, BlackICE will allow it to run without warning you. The other problem is that when you're using CD-ROM or DVD-ROM media it will keep popping warnings up as the files on the discs execute. The good news is that the Application Protection feature can be turned off. There was a problem with the original release of BlackICE 3.5 (up to version 3.5.cbf) where it would cause Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer to crash when accessing a HTML document. Thankfully, the new version (3.5.cbq) has solved this major problem. You have no idea how long it took me to figure out that BlackICE was causing these crashes! Everything else in BlackICE has stayed pretty much the same since the takeover. Tw
        eaks to the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) engine and backtrace facility have made an already secure product even better. Although nowhere near as secure as a real firewall, personal firewalls are far better than nothing. Now the problems have been fixed, and with the new outgoing filtering, this comes highly recommended. -Blacklaw

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        15.04.2001 07:12
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        Most of us who use the internet have two main fears,virus attacks and being hacked.Most people have a virus checker and many are now getting a firewall.I don`t know if I have sensitive files on my system,but I do bank online so I may have.That`s why I bought a firewall. Black Ice Defender is designed to protect one desktop PC but it can protect that PC when on a LAN. This firewall is clever in that it reports where attacks have originated from so that you can report the IP address to your ISP,if the can do anything to prevent further attacks I am unsure. I had no problems installing this software at all and it loads a set of defaults to get you going. There are settings that allow the user to change the level of protection,the basic setting being "cautious".You can boost these to "nervous" or "paranoid" if you wish. When an attack happens it is logged in the program and the IP address can be blocked,but don`t get carried away.Some attacks can be the users ISP shifting IP address nodes at peak times. Configuration of the program is fairly easy and the interface is user friendly,not something to be afraid of. But how can you tell if it really works?Good news,got to www.grc.com,there is a facility here that will test your firewall.My Black Ice set up passed all the tests,but like virus software it will need to be updated. So what then?Well it seems to work,but I`m not sure many hackers will be that interested in most home PCs,but lets keep them out anyway!

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          04.02.2001 19:18
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          Basically blackice defender is a firewall, which can also log the IP of any hacker trying to get onto your computer, and tell you which program they were using. It also allows you to block that IP address entirely. This is a very good thing, especially if you are permanently connected to the net. It recogonises and eliminates threats from the trojan/remote program sub7, which the the main program used by amateur hackers. The IP address logging is also a very useful thing, since you can report them to their ISP and get them disconnected from the net altogether. If you are really concerned about high security for your computer BlackICE is for you and the £30 odd would probably be worth it. If on the other hand you just want something that simple acts as a passive defense, whereupon you are alerted when something tries to access the net/your computer and you decide if you allow it to - then zonelabs' zonealram is probably the best for you. It's free for personal use.

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            12.12.2000 20:25
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            I was given a new programme for the world wide web recently from a friend of mine, he told me that since he had installed this programme he has been attacked on numerous occasions. This programme informed him of Hackers and people looking in on his P.C.and the abilitity to block this. Obvously I was intriqued and downloaded the software to my pc, and was absolutely gob smacked within minutes of coming onto the net I was attacked by a hacker trying to look into my computer. I have been surfing the net for a little over a year now and wonder how many times hackers have looked into my pc. I feel this is an intrusion of my privacy, and should not be allowed to continue. If you wish to download this program go to www.blackice.co.uk. Find out for yourself who is looking in on you Regards Andy2star

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              08.09.2000 02:08
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              BlackIce Defender is a software firewall to help protect your PC from hacking attempts. It works by watching your connection and monitors any suspisious attempts at gaining entry into your PC. There are four levels of security ranging from TRUSTING to PARONOID. You can keep logs - which can be used as evidence and you can selectively block the intruders. The best feature is the AdvIce button. After there has been an attempt of someone hacking or running a probe scanner, you highligh the attack and press the button. You are then taken to the Network ICe website which then gives specific information concerning that particular attack. Not only that it gives advice on what damage could have been done and other tips. Another good feature is the History window which shows the IP address of the attacker - and nearly all the time the person isp details. I installed the demo version of BlackIce Defende from http://www.networkice.com about a week ago. Since installing it I have been notified of about seven hacking attempts on my pc each day. As my ISP account is dial-up i assumed I was safe from any problems. I took care in disabling file and print sharing and kept a virus program running in background. As I dial up my isp allocates a new ip number each time - how could a hacker get into my pc in this short time. THis program is needed for dial up as well as permenant connection. If you don't beleive me download the Free Trial and write an opinion.

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