ThreatFire Free Version – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

At the recent Infosec 08 I was given a copy of the ThreatFire anti-e-threat tool, which is a FREE program (though a paid for version is available as well) and I decided to install and test it.

ThreatFire, by PC Tools Software, is a powerful PC security tool that, however, can be a little daunting with its many warning and alert pop-ups, of which there can be quite a number; at least to begin with until the program has been instructed as to what to ignore and allow and what to block. In this way it is a little bit like, say, Zonealarm Firewall.

My “problems” as to the amount of warnings and alerts may be due to the fact that I have set the security settings to the highest level. I like to run a tight ship, so to speak, and if leaks can be avoided the better.

If you, like me, run a software firewall – in my case Zonealarm – then you will have quite a number of pop-up alerts to content with as well, every time that ThreatFire, for instance, asks for Internet access to update and such, and so they can be quite a lot. Not really anything bad, I think, to ensure that one's PC is not infected and hacked. In the long run, as I have just said, for security and peace of mind, as fas as I am concerned, this is all well worth it.

The software could do with some intelligent programming, maybe, to understand from the beginning that the likes of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, etc. do go onto the Internet· Then again, firewalls do not come with that as standard either. The program itself, like firewalls, can be instructed to let programs through the next time round and therefore not really a problem, as said before.

Seeing all the threats that are about on the Internet presently, from the ordinary (if there ever is an ordinary one) virus, over Trojans and worms, etc. to outright malicious hacking, etc. and which are distributed via email but also just simply by some unsavory characters inserting malicious code on innocent websites where the then unsuspecting visitor gets his or her PC infected, the more security devices, in this case software applications, the better, as long as they do not clash with one another, and such practice can only be commended. Only one should never ever have more than one dedicated anti-virus program running on a PC. They do tend to clash and often can cause serious problems on a PC.

As far as I can see ThreatFire definitely is a great addition to ones anti-virus/anti-malware armory and considering that the basic version if free there is nothing that you can lose.

© M Smith (Veshengro), May 2008