Trojan ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq Scareware From Zonealarm Free Firewall?

POSTED BY Patrick ON September 17, 2010 / 12 COMMENTS

trojan zeus.zbot.aoaq scareware zonealarm firewall free

Users of Check Point’s Free ZoneAlarm Firewall are receiving a scary looking and alarming pop-up titled “Global Virus Alert.” It goes on to warn users that their computer needs another ZoneAlarm product in order to be safe from this threat. Normal computer users will usually go ahead and do whatever the pop-up suggests so as to stay secure.

But when I followed both links provided in the pop-up, I found that they lead to the same sales web-page and I got the impression that this was a marketing sales trick mostly used by rogue anti-malware software commonly known as “Scareware.”

trojan zeus.zbot.aoaq scareware zonealarm firewall free

Basically, “Scareware” alarms the user into purchasing a product in the belief that they will be completely safe from the supposed threat. But Check Point go further than this and include a comparison table claiming that the paid version of ZoneAlarm is the only product to offer protection from this trojan. They have basically trashed the ability of  Avira Free, Avast Free, AVG Free, Trend Micro and Norton to protect against this threat.

trojan zeus.zbot.aoaq scareware zonealarm firewall free

Check Point then get even more greedy when you decide to purchase the product, by presenting you with yet another pop-up to convince you to purchase a 2 year subscription instead of what they have just recommended to the user!

trojan zeus.zbot.aoaq scareware zonealarm firewall free

For so long I have had to warn my family, friends and clients whenever I recommended ZoneAlarm Free Firewall because they could be intentionally tricked by the download page layout into getting the paid trial version instead of the free version. Thankfully, the different download versions are much clearer now.

As a consumer I am disappointed, and concerned for my clients who may end up parting with their cash unnecessarily. That is not to say that our computers are not at risk, but a product’s own quality should speak for itself. Check Point’s integrity has been degraded by this pop-up in my eyes (literally!).

What are your views on this kind of marketing? Comments below please.

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Nelson post on

I am glad I googled before rushing into protection! Also found this on AVG:


fssdgfhsdfas post on

@nelson the same here

Patrick Wambu post on



edwardzbuxe post on

am done with zonealarm, but whats a better free alternative?

Patrick post on

ZoneAlarm Firewall alternative suggestion is Comodo Firewall.

I have been thinking of changing to Comodo for a while but now ZoneAlarm has just made the decision for me!

Knyteguy post on

Is it free or a trial? I could not find out from their website. If not is there a good/better FREEWARE alternative than zonealarm?

Patrick post on

FREE FOR FIREWALL ONLY. It is arguably better than ZA if your system has the resources 🙂 Trials are for the anti-virus and security suite only (includes firewall plus antivirus)

anon post on

Very poor show from Zonealarm. The article has it exactly right, you don’t expect fake virus warnings from a legitimate software company. I wonder if the people running this business are aware of how bad this looks to consumers.

Patrick post on

Once they take that “rogueware” route, the only thing that matters to them is the sales quantity not the product quality. Sadly, they don’t care about the long term anymore 🙁

Colins273 post on

I’ll try Comodo too, thanks for the tip!

Grunge4ever post on

Check out USERS FRUSTRATIONS in this Forum thread here: FRUSTRATED USERS ARE LEAVING IN DROVES! Thanks for the recommendation, I actually love Comodo more than i ever loved ZoneAlarm 🙂 THEY JUST DID ME A FAVOUR BY FORCING ME TO CHANGE FIREWALLS!!

Patrick post on

Nobody can post suggestions like Comodo Free on that site coz they get deleted. The Forum Mods are heavily censoring the thread, YET THERE’S STILL A LOT OF NEGATIVE COMMENTS…makes me wonder how bad the deleted ones actually are!