New PCFlank Leak Test Reveals Firewalls' Weakness

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A small utility exposes a security hole in the software of major firewall makers.

A new test created by the renowned Internet security portal, PC Flank, has demonstrated that all major firewall programs can be bypassed and that none of them can prevent a leak of your personal information from Internet-connected computers.

The test is called the PC Flank Leaktest and it attempts to upload user-specified text data directly to PC Flank's server, completely undetected by your firewall.

To the creators' astonishment, all of the top-tier commercial firewalls failed the test. Every known firewall, except for the Tiny firewall, allowed the custom data to be transmitted to the test location. None of the firewalls could deter a genuine, malicious attempt to steal your private data.

These results emphasize the fact that, while most firewalls provide reliable protection against inbound data threats, they are often incapable of providing outbound protection, allowing your private information to be accessed by hackers.

"It remains to be seen how the top firewalls will be able to cope with our test sample. So far I've only seen lackluster performance with even the heavyweights, such as of Symantec, McAfee, ZoneLabs, Sunbelt and Agnitum. All of them, except Tiny are porous. The scariest thing about this test is it's based on real life; its principle could be successfully used by real identity thieves, costing real people real life savings." - said Andrew Cooper, PC Flank's editor-in-chief.

A firewall leak test is software designed to determine how capable a firewall is at preventing information from leaving your system, using either legitimate software installed on your computer or an insecure system configuration. While there are over a dozen hard-to-beat leaktests in existence, which are largely addressed by the firewall developers, PCFlank's new test has so far proven unbeatable. The technical principle behind the PCFlank leaktest is called OLE automation-application control technique.

PC Flank has informed all firewall developers about the existence of this security issue and will conduct a re-test in a month's time to verify each developer's response to the urgent need to protect their customers.

Details about the PC Flank Leaktest can be found on the PC Flank webpage specifically dedicated to the test at: http://www.pcflank.com/pcflankleaktest_results.htm

About PC Flank:

PC Flank is a specialized security portal dedicated to home PC users, which provides an all-inclusive source of information for this field. It features a security review section, article library and a wide range of online security tests. For more information, visit http://www.pcflank.com

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Andrew Cooper
PC FLANK
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