Personal Firewalls - Testing Robustness

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Information Science / Centre for Security Research




This article was originally published as: Szewczyk, P. S., & Valli, C. (2006). Personal Firewalls - Testing Robustness. Proceedings of Australian Digital Forensics Conference. (pp. 105-112). Perth, Western Australia. Edith Cowan University.


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.