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Agnitum Directions (31 August, 2006)

  • Product update: Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0
  • Expert opinion: Agnitum analyzes latest Microsoft security initiatives
  • Company update: Talk directly with Agnitum in our new blog
  • Awards: Outpost Firewall Pro receives two more awards
  • Special offer: Get 20% off Roboform!

Dear Readers,

August has been a very busy — and productive — month for the Agnitum team. First, and most importantly, we have almost completed the final “release candidate” for Outpost Firewall Pro v4.0. The current version of Pro has received two new awards — from com! Magazine in Germany and PC Shopper in Taiwan — in recognition of the product’s high levels of security and usability. For those of you who are interested in Agnitum’s opinions on security issues, we encourage you to join in the debates in our new blog.

You’ll find all this and more in this month’s Agnitum Directions.

Alexander Kariagin

Editor, Agnitum Directions

Product update: Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0

Agnitum introduced Release Candidate One (RC1) of Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0 for internal testing. The final launch will take place in September.

Here’s a sneak peek inside Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0 RC1:

Anti-Leak controls

Industry-leading anti-leak controls ensure malicious programs cannot silently transmit information off the PC by hijacking inter-process communications — in other words, hiding their malicious activities under cover of a benign application.




Entertainment mode

Outpost Firewall Pro 4.0 detects when you switch to full screen mode to play online games or watch movies and automatically applies the most secure configuration available to provide background protection. Now you can focus on the activity at hand without worrying about security or having to deal with distracting interruptions by firewall prompts.




We will let you know as soon as we have finalized the release date.

Expert opinion: Agnitum analyzes latest Microsoft security initiatives

After an in-depth analysis of the new security measures known as “Kernel Patch Protection,” introduced in Windows XP 64-bit and the upcoming Vista, our computer security experts have concluded that these measures stifle third-party security development by limiting the amount of kernel integrity, while posing no deterrent to malicious writers who long ago learned to circumvent these kinds of barriers. Many security experts have published similar opinions in blogs and magazine articles, including digg.com and Slashdot.com.

Key conclusions from the analysis include:

  • Microsoft kernel patch protection prevents security software developers from installing security software at the kernel level, an approach that developers use to ensure security against malware applications.

  • If certain versions of the kernel are in use, kernel patch protection does not prevent hackers from reverse engineering specific areas of code in the operating system to re-acquire unauthorized access to the kernel.

  • If third-party security software is going to work, then independent software companies must similarly reverse engineer access to the operating system kernel, making it more difficult to install and maintain products that ensure better security for Windows and Windows users.

We believe Windows users have the right to choose a third-party security solution if they feel that solution is a better option.

You can read the full analysis at http://www.agnitum.com/r/kernel/patching

Stay tuned for our expert analysis on the needs for software updates in Security Insight, coming up next month!

Company update: Talk directly with Agnitum in our new blog

We are delighted to invite all our users and their friends to join the conversations in our Agnitum blog, a place for informal discussions and experience exchanges on any security-related topic.

Here are some of the threads we’ll be starting:

  • Internet security (new threats, security advice, trends, comments and analysis)

  • News from inside Agnitum

  • Tips and tricks on getting the most out of your Outpost installation

People who will be contributing to the blog include:

  • Mikhail Penkovsky, VP of marketing and sales
  • Alexey Belkin, chief software architect
  • Alexander Kariagin, PR & marketing manager
  • Igor Pankov, product marketing manager

You’ll find the blog at http://agnitumblog.blogspot.com

Recent topics include:

  • Vulnerabilities in Vista, Microsoft distractions
  • Windows Server Service vulnerability

Awards: Outpost Firewall Pro receives two awards

com! magazine, Germany

The well-known German IT magazine com! has rated Outpost Firewall Pro 3.51 the best of ten personal firewalls tested.

The award is based on Technical Excellence, Usability, Protection Level and Service.

The full article (in German) is available for download at:
http://www.agnitum.com/download/Firewalls_com_09_2006.pdf

Here is the complete scorecard:

Firewall Rating
Agnitum Outpost Firewall Pro 3.51 84
Buhl PC Firewall 2006 Professional 83
Zone Labs Zone Alarm Pro 6.1 77
Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall 4.3.246 71
Sygate Personal Firewall Platinum 2006 66
Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2006 63
Computer Associates eTtrust Personal Firewall 5.5 61
Softwin Bitdefender9 Professional Plus 61
Webroot Desktop Firewall 1.3 46
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus 2006 44

PC Shopper, Taiwan

Taiwan’s PC Shopper magazine has awarded Editor’s Choice to Outpost Firewall Pro 3.0.

The complete article is available online (in Chinese) at:
http://www.agnitum.com/download/pr/PCShopper_Award.JPG

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