“The Zeus.Zbot.aoaq is a new Trojan virus that steals banking passwords and financial account data. Your ZoneAlarm Free Firewall provides basic protection, but his new threat requires additional security”
I turned on my notebook and what do I see as soon as windows opened? A High risk threat called Zeus.Zbot.aoaq. I mean, a Zone Alarm pop up took center screen and scared me enough to raise my pulse by a few beats for a few minutes with a “Global Virus Alert Your PC may be in danger” warning. It was not too long ago that I had a bout at the office computer with the Security tool virus, and now this. Honestly, I really took a few serious moments and contemplated on buying Zone Alarm as they say they’re the only ones who can detect Zeus.Zbot.aoaq. But of course, I recalled that the pop up is so reminiscent of Security Tool.
So, after initiating a full scan with AVG, I did a quick search and sure enough, I found that I was not the only one who got scared for a while. Several Zone Alarm users (of the free version) got it too and many were not fooled by the Zeus.Zbot.aoaq trickery. Having dealt with the security tool virus a few weeks ago, I realized that Zone Alarm is using the same cheap trick of scaring people into buying their software in a hurry. For such a company (that I admit I admire for their efficient software), isn’t this sort of going too low?
Of course, you can’t blame Zone Alarm for using a tactic that may have perhaps worked for many scareware application makers. It’s just making use of a working business maneouver, I suppose. It’s just like the use of the ‘in-your-face popups’ that ask you to signup for a blog’s newsletter or list. You know it’s sort of a ‘turn off’, but since many list builders say it works, then you may want to use it too inspite of your feelings about it.
Thing is, I’ve never seen this one being used by other anti-virus makers, e.g., AVG, Trend Micro, Avast, BitDefender, Kaspersky, etc. I wonder if there’s some kind of forum that these anti-virus software makers meet. Say, they meet and Zone Alarm says “Man, it works. We scared 30,000 free version user into becoming paying subscribers in just 3 days!”. In this scenario, it wouldn’t be long before the other reputable anti-virus software makers follow suit and use scarewares to make better business returns too.
Oh, ok, so it was just a scare tactic. No need to continue acting panicky. But, this does not mean that the Zeus.Zbot.aoaq trojan is non-existent, inspite of the deafening silence that all other anti-virus makers are ‘mumming’ about the issue. Ok, not all of them. Somebody actually said that ESET has issued a remark about it.
A few folks said they’ll uninstall ZoneAlarm as they have lost faith and trust in them. Well, I too might do that too, but that is only if I can find a suitable replacement to it. I like ZA’s feature of allowing us to take control as to which application we allow to get access online. If I find another anti-virus software which gives me this control, I’m sure to give it a try.
Wait, AVG is done with the full scan. It says it didn’t find any threat. How about MalwareBytes? Nothing either. Whew! If I gave Zone Alarm a 9 (10 being perfect) rating before, it now slips to 5. How about you?