Kerio Personal Firewall 4 was just released. I’m still downloading it, but a friend who was a beta tester said it’s pretty good. I’ve been using KPF since it split off from Tiny. It’s still completely free for personal use, and on top of that it’s one of the best firewall programs available (even compared to the expensive ones). It now has some extra features like an intrusion detection system, web filtering, popup blocking, and dialup guarding (to prevent dialer programs from calling pay numbers).
I was going to include a link to the OutBound page at Hackbusters.net here. If I remember correctly, Tiny/KPF was one of the first firewall programs to be updated to handle this problem (programs using a protocol driver other than the default Microsoft stack were unaffected by any of the firewall’s settings). However, his LaBrea program (a “tarpit” designed to cause internet worms to waste a bunch of time trying to find new hosts) technically falls under the definition of “an unlawful communication device” (because it disrupts the “communication service” without the permission of the “communication service provider”) according to the “Super DMCA” law in Illinois. The final DMCA included a clause that there must be intent to defraud, but the earlier Illinois version has no such clause. Rather than risk action under a very ambiguous law, he has taken down most of the site, to also “Shine a bright light on a badly written and potentially damaging piece of legislation.” He has many links available if you’re interested in this and similar laws (which you should be, if you value your freedom at all). This section describes how it’s now a crime for him to report a serious security issue that he happened upon one day. Note that on the same page above all this, you can see where LaBrea was voted “Most Useful Application of 2001″ by eWeek and the author was named as a finalist in the “Innovation in Infrastructure Awards” by eWeek and PC Magazine. While there may (and I stress may) be good intent behind some of these laws, they’re doing a lot of collateral damage which ends up making things less secure.
Back to my main topic, I’ll have more info on KPF4 as I use it some.