NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, March 2008
Comodo Offers Free PC Security Tools
By Ira Wilsker, APCUG Director;
Columnist, The Examiner, Beaumont, TX; Radio & TV Show Host

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http://www.comodo.com/boclean/boclean.html - Anti-Spyware
http://www.vengine.com - Verification Engine

I recently had the pleasure of again presenting at the monthly meeting of the Golden Triangle PC Club (GTPCC). The topic was a follow up to a presentation I did last November on free software. Several people in attendance had used one of the free products I demonstrated at the previous meeting, and the commentary from the users was very positive. The products that had received so much response from those present were the free security products from the software provider Comodo (http://www.comodo.com).

Comodo is a multinational company with offices in the US, UK, Ukraine, and India. What many internet users are not aware of is that Comodo is the exclusive provider of digital security services to top level domain name registrants, and currently has over 200,000 commercial customers in over 100 countries. Comodo publishes many different commercial security software products, but is best known for its “Certification Authority” which ensures identity, trust and assurance on the web. Comodo is the second largest provider of authority certification services on the internet. According to the Comodo website, in discussing Comodo’s certification services, “When a consumer sees or an e-merchant displays either a Comodo Content Verification Certificate or a HackerGuardian TrustLogo or a High Assurance SSL Certificate, they know they are assured of complete legitimacy and safety.” In addition to producing some of the top authentication software and services available, Comodo also produces a suite of totally free security utilities.

Comodo promotes its personal-use security utilities as “No renewal or upgrade fees ever!”, and offers a comprehensive suite of utilities that can be downloaded individually, and either used by themselves, or integrated with the other Comodo free utilities as a complete PC security suite. While the utilities are and will always be free.

I first learned of Comodo when doing research on firewall software for a previous column. I came across several published reviews that gave the Comodo Firewall Pro the top rankings among both free and commercial firewalls tested. The popular download site Download.com awarded the Comodo Firewall Pro its highest 5-star rating, and PC Magazine awarded it 4½ stars and rated it as its “Editors’ Choice” for software firewalls. According to Comodo, and corroborated by the review processes of several of the major computer magazines, the Comodo Firewall Pro offered protection from hackers, spyware, and identity theft, as it secured the computer from both internal and external threats. The Comodo Firewall Pro also incorporates a sophisticated “Host Intrusion Prevention System” that effectively stops viruses, spyware and Trojans from being installed on the computer. Comodo also claims that its firewall provides protection from the new generation of cyber-threat, the rootkit. The recently released upgrade to Comodo Firewall Pro (version incorporates Comodo’s new “A-VSMART” technology, which provides enhanced protection from almost all online threats. All computer users need a firewall, and Comodo Firewall Pro would be an excellent choice. The latest versions and builds of this free software can be downloaded directly from Comodo at http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com.

Spyware in all of its iterations is a greater threat to our computing safety than computer viruses, and Comodo offers an excellent and free comprehensive anti-spyware utility, “BOClean Anti-Malware”. This utility can detect and destroy malware both on the hard drive and in the registry, and disconnects any threats found, preventing the malware from transmitting any data. BOClean automatically scans in the background, and removes any forms of spyware found. The software is kept up to date automatically downloading updates on a daily basis from Comodo servers. Many types of spyware intentionally target the anti-spyware software installed on the computer, but BOClean protects itself from tampering or being shutdown by the malware. While not as well known as many of its competitors, Comodo’s BOClean Anti-Malware would be an excellent choice for protection from all types of spyware, adware, and other forms of malware.

Phishing and other forms of identity theft are one of the greatest threats that we face when surfing the net. There are countless websites in cyberspace that exist only to scam us, and steal our money, identity, or both. Comodo offers its “Free Forever” Comodo Verification Engine, which provides protection from phishing sites (spoofed websites that appear to be from legitimate companies), and verifies the authenticity of apparently legitimate websites. The Verification Engine works will all major browsers, including Firefox, and provides a very high level of safety when surfing the net. Verification Engine can be downloaded directly from Comodo at http://www.vengine.com.

While the majority of contemporary internet threats are forms of spyware, there still are a large number of computer viruses in circulation that are continuously seeking out victim computers to infect. Comodo Antivirus is a capable utility that provides the protection that we all need to protect our computers from virus attack. The software, that is labeled as “Free Software – No License Fees Ever”, is available for download from http://www.antivirus.comodo.com. Comodo Antivirus detects and eliminates viruses from the computer, and continually protects the computer with both real-time and “on access” virus scanning. This product incorporates Heuristic analyses to intercept unknown threats, and incorporates “Host Intrusion Detection” that will block a virus before it can run and infect the computer. Daily updates of virus signatures are automatically downloaded from Comodo servers, keeping the software up to date. While powerful enough and feature rich for “geek” use, Comodo Antivirus is also simple to use, and is designed to “install and forget”, requiring minimal configuration and manual maintenance.

I get a lot of spam email, and Comodo offers a free anti-spam utility (registration required), “AntiSpam Desktop 2005”, available for download from http://www.comodoantispam.com. Do not let the date “2005” fool you, as it is a very capable anti-spam utility that has proven itself over the past three years. It works well with almost all email clients, including Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Thunderbird, Eudora, Pegasus or any other POP3/SMTP email client. Many of us are using more than one email address, and this Comodo utility transparently protects all of our email accounts with a single installation. AntiSpam Desktop uses a “Sender based authentication” system to verify the authenticity of the source of your emails. First, it adds and authenticates the email addresses in your address book, and then it uses a “challenge-response” system which has the sender authenticate a non-machine readable graphic containing an authorization code. Zombies (computers unknowingly hijacked by “botmasters”), which are sending out about 80% of all spam, cannot correctly respond, so their spam is blocked. With minimal effort, spam can be effectively blocked with this free utility.

Comodo is to be commended for making available to the public this comprehensive and free suite of PC security utilities. With free suites such as this one from Comodo, there is absolutely no reason why any PC should be unprotected.

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