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330 posts

Ultimate Geek

# 242461 29-Oct-2018 12:59
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We use out internet primarily for working from home, so bandwidth usage is generally 20-30 Gb per month. When our children visit it goes up, as it does when MS release a major fix. Being on a cheaper plan we keep an eye on unusual usage. The last three days we've had about double our usual usage. Tracked it down to my wife's machine and Zonealarm's anti-ransomware.

One day ok, two days noticeable, three days a pattern - or is it?

We did recently have a website hacked (discovered one of the plugins we've had for years has recently been removed due to problems so we've removed that) - and used XAMPP on my wife's system to check files etc from a backup. Otherwise, nothing of note since she got her new Gigabyte machine.

A quick Google didn't tell us anything - so am hoping you folks might have some suggestions - should we ignore it - or is there some way to see what has been happening?


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1912 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2117290 31-Oct-2018 10:46
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"Tracked it down to my wife's machine and Zonealarm's anti-ransomware."


how do you track it down to zone alarm .??
Perhaps it was something else on her machine, when windows updates fail to install, they can just repeatedly download, fail, re-download, fail, redownload etc


If it was ZoneAlarm, the solution is obvious. Uninstall Zonealarm . I wouldnt touch ZA, Ive seen so many issues with its firewall when it was popular (years back)
The best defense against ransomware is a good backup routine :-)



330 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2117313 31-Oct-2018 11:13
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We use Glasswire on the machines. We've had the problems with MS updates - but in fact, this was the same problem - failing to install each time - despite working on mine (usually it's the other way round).
The Anti-ransomware is a separate program - we never installed it. Presumably came with a ZoneAlarm update. We'll have it for 30 days and then in we don't pay it will stop working. Sounds almost like ransomware ;-) but reading about it, it does seem one of the better products in this line.
The trouble with Ransomware and backups is the delay between infection and the discovery of infection. I've been told there could be a significant delay between the infection and it becoming active.


1912 posts

Uber Geek

  # 2117968 1-Nov-2018 16:06
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The trouble with Ransomware and backups is the delay between infection and the discovery of infection. I've been told there could be a significant delay between the infection and it becoming active.


The issue I see with anti-ransonware products, is no one really knows how the next lot of ransomware will work & what it will actually do.
They could code in a delay, or make it instant .
Perhaps the next lot will move files/docs into a hidden cloud server or hide them on a local network, ie move rather than encrypt . Who knows ?
Perhaps it will just pass protect the whole Hard drive at a hardware level ?


anti ransomware may not help at all against new crypto types . Seems like they are jumping on the bandwagon a bit, offering a product for just a single type of attack and sometimes charging
just for that addon. When there is a new type of attack, then another AV add-on at extra cost etc etc



330 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2117975 1-Nov-2018 16:24
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When one of our sites was hacked I immediately had thoughts of WannaCry. I'm not at all technical - but when I read a little bit, it seems that particular one shouldn't work IF we have up-to-date Windows. I am not happy MS have made updating non-optional - I used to at least peruse what the updates were for - only ever chose not to apply a handful. But knowing how many people leave things like that, and how much damage can be done, I guess, while there are other factors, I have to give MS some credit on this.

It's a sad day when we face so much risk doing ordinary things.

In my own profession, Xero has shown the way and been followed by MYOB and Reckon in raising prices - and doing away with the concept of buying software. I hate the change, but at least we won't get people using software that's the best part of a decade out of date. I'm now having to dip my toes in the free / low-cost market as clients are complaining.

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