[Dshield] "Personal Firewalls" are mostly snake-oil?

Peter Stendahl-Juvonen peter.stendahl-juvonen at welho.com
Wed Jul 24 12:26:14 GMT 2002


Thank you for your response to my comment (excerpted by you further
below) to you writing the following [below]:

[Well I did a practical test .......  I installed Tiny Personal Firewall
on my 
girlfriends win2k machine, explained what the options meant and why you 
should use em. Now she aint dumb, but after a couple of days of
listening to 
occasionally outraged howls I checked the configuration.....
essentially it 
was "allow all from any to any". When I asked her why, she said "it was
too annoying having to decide from which machine to which and sometimes
had to allow any and sometimes not so it was just easier......."]

Please find my comment to your comment embedded in your posting (below).

Again, thank you in advance for kind and timely response.
Best Wishes,
Peter Stendahl-Juvonen

-----Original Message-----
From: list-admin at dshield.org [mailto:list-admin at dshield.org] On Behalf
Of Mark Rowlands
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 1:33 PM
To: list at dshield.org
Subject: Re: [Dshield] "Personal Firewalls" are mostly snake-oil?

On Tue July 23 2002 22:26, Peter Stendahl-Juvonen wrote:
> It would be interesting to read why you chose Tiny Personal Firewall
> instead of, e.g. ZoneAlarm(r)?

1) it's free...... 

***** [1] I apology for not expressing my self clearly enough. What I
meant was: Why did you pick Tiny Personal Firewall from these TWO FREE
alternatives? When they BOTH are free it does not tell the difference.

2) I understand the configuration process and find it to be more
than Zone Alarm 

***** [2] How did your understanding of "the configuration process and
finding it to be more transparent than Zone Alarm" contribute to helping
your girlfriend in "testing" Tiny Personal Firewall? Was she not the one
(of the two of you) to "test" the approach (i.e., the software) chosen
by you? Judging from the information I have at my possession ZA would
most likely have contributed in different "test" success. I suppose you
did not intend to use the "test" as a predefined process: To prove
something that supports one's own prejudice. The target "tester" should
carefully be taken into consideration when choosing what alternative to
"test". At least if you goal is to find a solution for strengthening the
overall protection of connecting to the Internet. A conclusion drawn
from just one specific approach/solution "tested" by one person should
not contribute in rough generalization on the entire product category
nor on the capacity of comprehension the some twenty million people
using quite a different product represent (in average). *****

***** [3] What solution do you rely on for the time being? What are the
pros and cons in that approach? Would you recommend it to others in the
same position? *****

> Please see what Steve Gibson has to say about the subject (also in
> context further below):

Steve Gibson is an idiot

***** I wanted to ignore this comment at first. On public (or
semi-public) forums like this I would prefer to rather discuss factual
matters. However, would you just out of curiosity kindly please clarify
on what your SCALE is (on judging people) to be able to put this
appraisal into perspective? I do not know Steve Gibson in person but
what I know about him and his work I respect him for his contributions
to the common good in general and especially for educating millions of
users on internet safety (related matters). Not to mention for having
useful tools at public domain.

What do you consider the most significant contribution(s) made by
yourself for the common good, e.g. on Internet safety? I.e., for what
contribution(s) do you respect yourself the most?

Thank you in advance for kind and prompt response on this one as well.

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