Microsoft July 2008 Update and Zone Alarm

As I was getting ready to finish a project last night, I noticed I couldn’t connect to the Internet any longer on one of our Windows XP computers at home. Funny, I thought. What happened? I ran my usual checks, scans, etc. but nothing seemed to point to a solution. Until I turned off Zone Alarm. No problem connecting to the Internet now. Hmm….

When our second computer stopped connecting to the Internet this afternoon, after I installed the recent Microsoft Updates, I realized there was a different kind of connection going on, between Microsoft updates and Zone Alarm.

Searching on the web brought me to the Patch (The Entire Internet) Tuesday article at the Washington Post. It turns out a major design flaw exists in DNS, which impacts not only Microsoft, but many hardware/software companies around the world. Patches have started to be released for the fix; I just happened to catch the Microsoft patch, which caused issues with Zone Alarm.

Interesting story behind how the flaw was found, and how people around the world cooperated together to fix the flaw. Dan Kaminsky is the person who found the flaw; he works in Seattle, Washington, and has posted a tool on his site to let you know if your ISP provider/company is at risk. He also describes more about the flaw, and the amazing collaborative work he led.

ZoneAlarm posted a recommendation to uninstall the KD951748 patch from Microsoft.

From what I understand from the Washington Post article, using OpenDNS should protect the your computer, which we have used since last year.

Has anyone else experienced issues? Or found other solutions?