ZoneAlarm Free Firewall customers have lashed out against the software's producer CheckPoint for using scareware tactics to force people into upgrading to the paid version of the firewall.
Users of the free firewall software were served with a 'Global Virus Alert' notification pop-up that warned them that their PC might be affected with the notorious 'ZeuS.Zbot.aoaq' virus, adding that only by upgrading to the paid version can they save their PCs from being infected.
Similar false virus notification tactics are used by rogue anti-virus software that trick people into paying for removing a virus which is not actually present on the computer.
Angry users have criticised CheckPoint for using scareware tactics while some of them have even uninstalled the software.
CheckPoint has maintained that the purpose of the notification was to make users aware of a legitimate virus that was wrecking havoc on PCs.
The company said in a statement to PC Mag: “It was never our intent to lead customers to believe they have a virus on their computer. This was purely an informative message about a legitimate and serious virus that also included information about the differences in protection of various products.”