What is a Firewall Leak Test?

Master Head

Will my security software prevent my confidential data from being transmitted to a hacker?

Will my security software stop a virus from corrupting or destroying my important documents?

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Leak tests are small, non-destructive, programs designed by security experts that deliberately attempt to bypass a firewall's outgoing security measures. The rationale behind them is painfully simple: 'If this test can get past your computer's security defenses, then so can a hacker.' Explicitly designed to help identify a firewall's security flaws, leak tests provide the invaluable function of informing the user whether or not their security software is providing adequate protection.

The tests pose no real threat to the security of a computer as they are harmless simulations of the attack techniques typically used by Spyware and Trojan horse programs. There are many firewall leak-testing programs available – each one designed to exploit a particular flaw and each using a particular attack technique to break a firewall's standard protection mechanisms.

Although the implementation varies from leak test to leak test, all attempt to transmit some random, non-confidential data to an outside website without the knowledge of the user.

Firewall Leak Test For example, in the Comodo Test Suite (shown left), the user is encouraged to type some random text into the space marked 'Data to be sent' before clicking one of the 'Test' buttons.

For your security software to pass a leak test, it must detect and prevent it from making a connection to the internet.
Secondly, it should inform you that this connection attempt is being made – usually by presenting a pop-up alert with the connection details.

How well protected is your PC?

Test My PC Security has a wide range of downloadable firewall leak and HIPS tests so you can find out just how good your security software is.

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