ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq – a big treat!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2010 | 36 Comments

On 13th September, 2010 one new Trojan virus had been found that steals banking passwords and financial account data. Basic protection to your computer is provided by Your ZoneAlarm Free Firewall, but this new threat requires additional security. According to one person, Your new Zeus spam message is very disappointing.


The integrity of your company and software is degraded by it. Today, I turned on my computer to find this Zonealarm pop up on my desktop. Zonealarm can turn out fake, and a dirty marketing ploy of ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq. I never thought they’d stoop to this level where they’d try and send SCAREWARE to users of their Zonealarm Free in order to push us into buying their Antivirus products. Common Zonealarm, you guys are better than that!

It is noted that this is a sketchy marketing trick; your computer may actually be infected with other viruses. If you don’t have Antivirus software, please take the opportunity to check out AVG Free. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is trusted antivirus and antispyware protection for Windows. It is free to download from web. Additionally, the new included LinkScannerĀ® Active Surf-Shield checks web pages for threats at the only time that matters – when you’re about to click that link.

AVG Anti-Virus Free has these following features:

  • Compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP
  • Real-time safe internet surfing and searching
  • Protection against viruses and spyware
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  • Easy to download, install and use

Video of Zbot/Zeus from YouTube:


  1. Chuck says:

    I agree that this tactic will give Check Point Software Technologies & ZoneAlarm a new negative reputation.
    I spend many hours each week removing “antivirus 2010” & dozens of varients of fake av’s & now a previously reputable company, whose software I’ve been using for years, joins the ranks with this pop-up ploy.
    I can no longer recommend it in good faith to clients.

  2. Mike says:

    I just found this popup today on my computer. Thanks to you, I now find out it is a marketing ploy. Tsk, Tsk Zonealarm!!

  3. Doug says:

    Same message, same reaction.

    In fact, I actually thought it was a virus itself, using ZoneAlarm as a cover – that’s how sure I was ZoneAlarm wouldn’t do something annoying as this.

  4. spaceman says:

    hmmm i think that your totaly right…scareware tactics is such a bad ploy…..i mean lets face it most viruses are probably created by companys that make firewalls and antivirus software
    there all corrupt money grabbing plebs
    and one day i hope the whole world wide web blows up

  5. Chazman says:

    The ZoneAlarm popup is a hoax to scare you into giving them money.

    The trojan/virus is real (since 2007) but if you have anti-virus protection **with daily, automated updates** you should be fine. If your ’90-day subscription’ to Mcafee or Norton has run out (and you keep getting annoying popups to spend $30-$50 to renew every year) you can uninstall that and install Avast! Anti-virus (free for home use). You can only run one anti-virus scanner on a PC. I used to use AVG, but their LinkScanner made my PC run far too slow. The geeks at work told me they all use Avast! and now I do, too.

    If you’re still nervous, Google ‘free online virus scan’ or ‘free online trojan scan’ and scan your PC. Ignore any pitches to ‘fix’ your PC, fix your registry, etc. Just scan and leave. If you get a result that says they’ll fix your ‘problem’ (that they caused) for a fee, it’s a scam — go elsewhere.

  6. Mike Hood says:

    That’s it! I’ve been a Zone Alarm user for the last nine years, but not any more. All Zone Alarm software will be deleted from my computer today.

  7. Gerard Carmody says:

    I’ve used Free Zone Alarm for years, and I was very disappointed by their sleazy scare tactic to induce people to buy their antivirus product. Now I have less trust in the integrity of their company. Maybe there’s a better firewall product out there. I’ll be checking.

  8. Boosto says:

    lol this is just too much

  9. Ian says:

    This desperate attempt to get people to buy Zone Alarm is completely unacceptable. It’s almost as bas as the affiliate scam that Evidence Eliminator run years ago.
    Zone Alarm have ruined their reputation now for pulling this sort of stunt. I would recommend everyone ditches Zone Alarm and looks for an alternative. Hit them where it hurts – in the pocket!

  10. Gerry says:

    I agree, with the SCAREMONGERING comment – this is far more likely to make me go out and purchase a competitors software and ditch zonealarm altogether !! If they zonealarm) are aware of the threat – why don’t they add an update that protects against it – after all I am asked daily to check for updateson zonealarm – is this just so they can have pop-ups trying to scaremonger !!

  11. Henrik Brodin says:

    Hi, both me and my girlfriend got this popup today, and it scared the crap out of us both. Very wrong done by ZoneAlarm.
    Since i thought we were actually infected but then got to know it wasent the case it made me NOT wanting to buy ZoneAlarm.

  12. Jim says:

    Pretty bad for zone alarm to do the “scare-ware” thing. I will be not renewing them. I do understand the economy is bad but what they have done is unscrupulous.

    You “MAY” be infected. I may have 200 communists land on my roof with a sack of fresh doughnuts, but I doubt it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yes I just turned my computer on today and got the pop-up. Surprised that he photo of the pop-up you have on their looks like the one I got on mine.
    Thanks for the article very helpful.

  14. AnonymousX says:

    Yeah, just got the pop up right now as I write this. I decided to do a Google search on this, and found this article. Good thing I did.

    This is an all new low for ZoneAlarm. I might decide to switch to a different firewall because of this.

  15. Tom says:

    Scaring (potential) customers is not the way to go. ZoneAlarm heading on the wrong path… What a shame…

  16. Whew! I thought I really had that zeus virus on my system. Got my pulse rising a bit there.

    I think ZoneAlarm should have not used the “Your PC may be in danger” phrase as this implies that the danger is already in the system.

    I get this feeling that they may have fetched a lot of sign ups from the naive ones out there, but also lost a lot of would be buyers who saw through their cheap trick.

  17. Zone-dOut says:

    Absolute disgrace, I hope those that do decide to pay for a Firewall, choose any but the ZoneAlarm option!!

  18. Frank says:

    Very dissapointed with ZoneAlarm for stooping to such a level. This marketing ploy is quite a common scareware tactic used by other companies. I NEVER though ZA would stoop to this! Its pathetic!

  19. Annoyed says:

    It popped up right after I downloaded, scanned and then opened a program; which came from a reputable company.
    I don’t mind nag screens or pop ups. I don’t like scare tactics. Have used Zone Alarm since it’s inception. But, it’s gone.

  20. Matt Nixon says:

    Disgraceful. Fortunately I have the nonce to check things out, but it sent my partner into a panic. C’mon ZoneAlarm, you’ve lost a lot of respect from this side!

  21. Sam Kelly says:

    I very nearly bought the product, but thought I’d check out Zone Alarm’s website rather than click the link. If they’d been thorough and repeated the “threat” there, then I would have gone ahead but there was no mention of zeus.zbot.aoaq, and the price was different. As an old technophobe I’m now wondering who I can trust – thank goodness for Google.

  22. Mannfred Obama Gates says:

    I found this pop-up too. With the exact same ‘Discover’-time as yours: 1.59 PM PST.

  23. Dan C says:

    Dear oh dear Checkpoint. Scare tactics? Your pop-up will frighten lots of unsavvy computer users. You’ve just lost my respect, and you will destroy the great reputation you’ve built with nonsense like this.

  24. catherine says:

    I too got this pop-up when I switched on my computer this morning, thank goodness I too searched on google for this virus, and got this page, I can’t believe that ZA has stooped to this dirty level to make money, unless it is a scam.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If you read it carefully, you might notice it doesn’t actually say that it was detected on your computer. I’m pretty disappointed with the ZoneAlarm team for using these tactics, but I see absolutely no point in ditching free software which does its job (which, as a firewall, is NOT to detect trojans or other malware). It’s enough that I’m not buying their upgrade.

  26. Holy Crap!! says:

    Wow. I’m really disappointed in Checkpoint (Zone Alarm) for doing this. I may actually remove there software for good now!!

  27. Paulo says:

    Same here! The point is, can I still trust Zone Alarm after this? I’ve been a
    faithfull user and recomended their products for many years, but this scareware
    tactics puts them on the same league of all those annoying and untrustful idiots I
    hate… What a loss… :-(

  28. Johny Trojan Hunter says:

    well i dont think i can trust zonealarm any more cos its just like the websites that say you are infected click here to infect yourself some more. I suppose the way they look at it is anyone that doesnt know about computers might buy it and people that do know about computers wont use it for free any more???

  29. Jelle says:

    That does it. First I had continuous problems with wireless adapters and ZoneAlarm, and now this. I’ll be looking for some more serious software.

  30. Barnacle Bill says:

    I’m not happy with these underhand tactics from ZA but what alternatives (free) are there?

  31. CC says:

    ZoneAlarm you will now be deleted on mine and every PC I install for friends and family.

    I heard that is offering free firewall too. I hope they will never sink as low as you have.

  32. DrkGrnMarine says:

    As a user of the basic FW since 2002, it gave me an initial scare ’cause I never have these issues. That’s why I chose this free FW. I realized something was up when I couldn’t find anything odd in task manager and and it only took control of the ZL client and not any other apps. Also nothing was posted on the ZL site. …so are they admitting that they are no longer capable of preventing a trojan from opening a port without authorization. That’s not a way to promote a business!!! I’ll keep the FW, since it is battle tested, but I’m gonna have grandma and all the other non-tech minded people to get their protection from their internet providers. I just hope that they haven’t already bought it …utt, phone is ringing lol

  33. webbeetle says:

    That’s it! Zonealarm can keep their scam, and their software will be deleted from my computer. I was getting sick of their nags for a long time – this just took it one step too far :-(
    I have to confess: the built-in Windows Firewall is getting better, and being for 99% of time on in-house-WiFi I’m protected anyhow (through the router’s firewall). So I only need a software solution firewall when I take my laptop elsewhere and plug it physically into a network…

  34. Logan says:

    Zone Alarm has always been a great product, but I have no use for a security company whose integrity I can’t trust. At the very least it shows very poor judgment on CheckPoint’s part.
    There are other good free products out there.

  35. Richard says:

    I’ve been trying to cut and paste my Usernames and Passwords into login screens since I got the fake alarm from Zone Alarm. I am glad it wasn’t real and to be aware that Zone Alarm can’t be FULLY trusted. Thank you.

  36. Terry says:

    I used ZA from the very beginning. It got too bloated and was extremely difficult to uninstall at one stage.
    Since then have used Comodo and Online Armor. Both FREE. The later being very good.

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