School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
Consumers require personal firewalls that are highly secure, easy to use, configurable and uptodate with the latest signatures to detect malicious network activity. Robustness tests were performed on a selection of the ten most popular firewalls by market share. The test system used was a vanilla installation of Windows XP with SP2 and all the most recent updates and patches. Each firewall was installed with its default configuration following the didactic instructions given by the firewall. The investigation was carried out by performing an installation, penetration, performance and update test. A third party bitTorrent application was also installed mimicking a home installation of a download application. The Comodo Personal Firewall out performed all the firewalls which were tested including the highly popular ISS Blackice and Zonelabs ZoneAlarm. The results identified that a third party application has a significant impact on the number of vulnerabilities present within the test system.