Bitdefender Total Security Firewall Alert Mode is automatically switched off by any fullscreen app

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Hello,

Firewall bug discovered in Bitdefender Total Security 2024 two weeks ago. If you enable the Alert Mode in Bitdefender Firewall then launch any full screen application (YouTube video or any Game) the Alert Mode is automatically disabled.


Things that I've tried:

1 Automatic profiles from Bitdefender disabled

2 Windows GameBar, GameMode and Notifications disabled

3 Bitdefender settings protected by password


With the things tried above issue can be easily reproduced with the following steps:

1. Enable Alert Mode in Bitdefender Firewall

2. Launch Google Chrome and go to YouTube

3. Play any video

4. Make the video full screen and wait 5 - 10 seconds

5. Exit full screen and minimize Google Chrome

6. Check the Bitdefender User Interface and notice that Alert Mode is automatically switched off.


Video recorded on First PC:


Video recorded on Second PC (two monitors to show that the alert mode is switchd off by itself):


Does anyone manage to solve this issue ? There are a lot of reddit posts about it and another discussion here that was closed.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Matei Eduard-Petrisor ,

    Welcome to the Bitdefender Forums. This is a known bug which is being investigated and will be resolved by an upcoming update, release date unknown at this time.

    We have to be patient. The developers must find and eradicate the bug and then test it extensively to ensure that the "fix" doesn't break something else. This takes time.

    Have a great day.

    Regards,

    Phil

  • Milanos
    edited March 28
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    Hello, I have the same problem and it annoys me a lot.

    There is also a problem with games as well as any full-screen program.
    I haven't had a problem in years and it's been bugging me the last few weeks.

    If this is not corrected by the end of the subscription, I will switch to a different security.
    Milan

  • Chris_Munday
    edited March 28
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    Hi, just to let you know this has been a recurring issue for years:

    The admins have said this latest instance is a totally different instance of the same issue and I do have no reason to disbelieve that. That being said, the alert mode off issue has been happening in whatever form to me (and clearly others) for years and I've personally never seen a fix for any instance of it.

  • Hello again,

    I have a support ticket open. I generated the debug package using the supporttool.exe that can be found @C:\Program Files\Bitdefender\Bitdefender Security App and I've uploaded to Bitdefender.

  • Milanos
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    Hi,
    good idea.
    I did the same but I don't know where to send the file created with supporttool.exe ?
    Thanks…
    

  • Hello,

    On my side I opened a support ticket via email. The person who is in charge to investigate my issue send me a link where I uploaded my debug package. You can create the support ticket if you search for Bitdefender support and click on contact bitdefender support.

  • MikeACw
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    I have the exact same problem it seems since a few weeks ago. Cannot exactly narrow down since when.

    It doesn't matter what kind of Fullscreen application you use btw.

    • I can reproduce it with any Game running in fullscreen (windows mode does not reset the setting I think).
    • I can reproduce it with playing a Video with VLC and switching to fullscreen mode and back a few times.
    • I can reproduce it with Chrome, e.g. using Youtube or watching Twitch streams in fullscreen mode.

    I haven't yet found a workaround… I tried a bunch of windows settings, e.g. turning game mode off, playing with energy settings. But this has no effect.

    This is extremely annoying, please fix this asap..

  • Enemy
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    I'm having a hard time understanding how this isn't resolved yet - this isn't a minor issue…

  • Chris_Munday
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    to be fair to Bit Defender. It’s such a massive security breach that it’s probably unearthed loads of other issues/bugs with the programme. We’ve been telling them for years the alert mode is dodgy on their software, now they’re finally listening it seems

  • Negligence
    edited April 1
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    Same problem here, mistakenly kinda duplicated your post above.

    A serious security threat.

    Except ive noted even if your config is password protected it will sjut it off, bypassing passwd protection, while, if you go to re-enable it, it will request password.

  • Hello,

    Yes same for mine. Is still not fixed my version number is 27.0.30.140.

    As other people mentioned any application that will go in fullscreen mode will lead to Alert Mode to be disabled by itself. I reproduced also with:

    1 YouTube videos in full screen / any videos played from my computer with Windows Media Player

    2 Any game launched in full screen

    3 Notepad++ full screen mode just launch it press F11 wait 10 seconds Alert Mode will be disabled

    4 Microsoft Power Point when using slide show function.

    The scenarios below does not reproduce the issue:

    1 Windows Explorer in full screen mode (press F11)

    2 Mircosoft Word in full screen (Focus Mode)

    3 Windows GameBar (WinKey + G)

  • Jack59
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    Got the same problem, installed and uninstalled several times with no avail, using a freeware Firewall program which works like a Gem. Hope Bitdefender gets it resolved soon.

  • Alexandru_BD
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    While Alert Mode may be disabled, this doesn't affect the firewall's primary function of filtering and controlling network traffic. It's not an ON/OFF switch for the firewall. The primary purpose of Alert Mode is to generate alerts about network traffic that matches specific rules or criteria, without actually blocking or dropping that traffic. You can select Allow or Block.

    When Alert Mode is disabled, the firewall typically still enforces its configured rules for blocking or allowing traffic based on criteria such as IP addresses, ports, protocols, and application types. However, it won't generate alerts for traffic that matches these rules.

    So, the firewall should continue to work properly in terms of traffic filtering and security enforcement even if Alert Mode is disabled.

    The security solution includes several layers of defenses (prevention, protection, remediation - to name a few) and the firewall is your gate keeper and will ensure your devices are safe. The security modules are designed in a specific way, so that IF a defense fails, another one takes its place.

    For example, the firewall prevents the infection from entering the PC from the network, if the firewall fails, Advanced Threat Defense takes over and blocks dubious processes. If this module misses something, then the Antivirus will find any modification of files during scanning and isolate the infection.

    We are expecting a fix for the Alert Mode to be available soon.

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • NapGen
    edited April 9
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    Hallo

    auch ich habe dieses Problem. Meine Versionsnummer ist 27.0.30.140.

    Bei allen Spielen wird der Alarmmodus von selbst deaktiviert, trotz Passwortschutz. Wenn ich ihn wieder aktivierenn will MUß ich das Passwort eingeben. Ich weiß wurde schon oft gepostet, aber je mehr sich mit diesem Problem melden wird es villeicht schneller eine Lösung geben.Habe noch 300 Tage Abonnement. Wird es bis dahin nicht gelöst werde ich leider wechseln.

  • Milanos
    edited April 10
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    I installed fresh Windows 10 + Bitdefender Total Security 2024, Firefox browser,
    FastStone Image Viewer, K-Lite Codec Pack. and still Alert Mode turns off by itself.
    Don't be mad, but even if you defend the security functionality,
    the program has a life of its own and I have no control over it.
    In my opinion, this is a serious mistake and I don't like having a paid PC protection
    installed that doesn't work as it should.
    

  • I have the same issue on two different Windows 10 PCs, this is a deal breaker since It allows some apps to do automatic updates and bypass the firewall blocks. The firewall should be considered faulty.

  • Chris_Munday
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    Alexandru,

    Straw men arguments from yourself don’t deflect the fact that alert mode is switched on by users who want to have complete control over which programmes connect to the internet; users who want to move the decision-making over which apps can and cannot connect to the internet from the firewall to themselves

    The firewall DOES NOT work properly when the user-defined rule “don’t let anything connect to the internet without my say so” is being overridden without authorisation. Again, this is a security breach no matter how much you attempt to swerve the problem.

    That aside, let’s be honest. If BitDefender wanted to fix this, it would have been done by now.

    Like many others, robust security is a deal breaker, so I’ll be using a more secure, alternative security package going forward.

    Chris

  • Negligence
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    With all due respect "The primary purpose of Alert Mode is to generate alerts about network
    traffic that matches specific rules or criteria, without actually
    blocking or dropping that traffic. You can select Allow or Block."

    Is a serious security flaw, how Am I to be sure a 3rd party software does not install something malicious and attempt an outbound communication? How is the PASSWORD protection being overridden?

    This is a serious issue. Not an Oh well don't worry.

  • Chris_Munday
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    when putting a YouTube video into full screen overrides the password protection and disables the security you’ve chosen, that’s a serious concern which could no doubt be exploited

  • Clat1981
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    It seems like you're experiencing an issue with Bitdefender Total Security's Firewall Alert Mode being automatically switched off when using fullscreen applications. This behavior may be due to the firewall settings or the interaction between Bitdefender and the fullscreen applications.

    Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and address the issue:

    1. Check Firewall Settings: Verify that Bitdefender Total Security's firewall settings are configured correctly. Ensure that Firewall Alert Mode is enabled and that there are no specific rules or settings that may be causing it to be automatically switched off when using fullscreen applications.
    2. Application Rules: Check if there are any specific firewall rules or application settings within Bitdefender Total Security that may be affecting fullscreen applications. You can review the list of application rules and make adjustments as needed to allow fullscreen applications to function properly.
    3. Fullscreen Detection: Some security software may have features that automatically adjust settings based on the application's fullscreen status. Check if Bitdefender Total Security has such a feature and disable it if necessary to prevent the firewall alert mode from being switched off.
    4. Update Bitdefender: Ensure that you're using the latest version of Bitdefender Total Security. Updates may include bug fixes and improvements that address issues related to firewall settings and application compatibility.
    5. Check Application Compatibility: It's possible that the issue is related to compatibility between Bitdefender Total Security and specific fullscreen applications. Check if there are any known compatibility issues reported by Bitdefender or the developers of the fullscreen applications you're using.
    6. Contact Bitdefender Support: If you're unable to resolve the issue on your own, consider reaching out to Bitdefender's support team for assistance. They may be able to provide further guidance or troubleshoot the issue with you directly.

    By following these steps, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue with Bitdefender Total Security's Firewall Alert Mode being automatically switched off when using fullscreen applications. If the issue persists, contacting Bitdefender support would be the next best step to get personalized assistance.

  • Hello,

    I checked for updates daily and still on version 27.0.30.140 which is affected by this bug.

    I tried everything disable game mode, game bar, disable bitdefender automatic profiles, enable settings password protection in bitdefender change power plan to ultimate performance and the issue still can be reproduced.

    If anyone who complained in this topic will raise support tickers probably they will address this bug with high priority.

    My last feedback received from their support team one week ago is that it will be fixed and the fix will be pushed via automatic updates of the prodcuct.

    Have a great day

  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited April 11
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    Hello @Matei Eduard-Petrisor,

    The fix is still in the pipeline and I'm trying to get an update on the release date. I will come back as soon as I have news. I also pointed out on another thread that we should expect the fix to be deployed with the next product update scheduled for this month:

    Since the issue is already known and the development teams are working on the fix, the only advantage I see if everyone contacts the Support teams is that they will be informed individually when the fix is released. Otherwise, more requests on this topic doesn't necessarily mean a faster resolution to the problem, the resolution timeframe will be the same since the situation is already treated with high priority by the developers.

    We already have multiple threads opened on this topic in the community and that doesn't help, since the complaints are now scattered across the forum because the search function is not used properly sometimes.
    I kindly request all members, especially the fresh registered ones, to use the forum search function by inserting keywords such as "Alert Mode", before opening a new discussion on this matter, and the page will display all relevant discussions and this way we avoid multiple threads that we have to constantly return to repeat the same information. We may also skip discussions and certain users will not receive the relevant updates if this happens.

    I appeal to patience and understanding on this one, they will fix it soon.

    Thank you,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Alexandru_BD
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    I realize you've been waiting a long time for the fix and I know you are upset and it must be frustrating. All I'm saying is that the firewall is not completely "useless" without this feature, and we should give them a bit more time to solve this. Of course, it's your call to make.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • dmarchelak
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    And another person here annoyed with this new security breach. Really frustrating that nobody has yet managed to sort this out. I want bitdefender to understand how unhappy I am with this and that they need to sort it out ASAP if they want to keep hold of their privacy/security loving customer base.

  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    edited April 15
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    Hi @dmarchelak and thanks for joining us here.

    I know it must be frustrating, but let's give the developers some credit and little bit more time to sort this out.
    I can tell you that the fix is almost ready and will be deployed as soon as possible.

    Again, I reiterate the fact that the behavior of this function when apps are being used in full screen is NOT a security breach, according to meaning of the term and what it implies.

    A 'security breach' is any incident that results in unauthorized access to computer data, applications, networks or devices. It results in information being accessed without authorization. Typically, it occurs when an intruder is able to bypass security mechanisms. Has anyone encountered such a breach because of the firewall? If yes, then please do tell us more.

    Like I said, the firewall is still operational even when the alert mode isn't working as expected. It keeps track of connection attempts and decides which to allow and which to block. It uses a set of rules to filter data transmitted to and from your system. It's basically on autopilot. The fact it allows to control the connections manually is a bonus.

    Regards

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Chris_Munday
    edited April 15
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    as you stated: "any incident that results in unauthorised access to computer data, applications, networks or devices. It results in information being accessed without authorisation"


    applications are accessing the network/internet without authorisation, bypassing security mechanisms (in this case caused by the bug in question in bit defender total security); a textbook security breach.


    Here’s the rest of the article you googled:

  • Negligence
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    I actually work in cybersecurity. Again with all due respect.

    Please stop belittling your loyal users.

    It is not simply a BONUS feature, it was a feature i based my purchase of the security solution on, and is an integral part of any firewall worth it's weight.

    Someone on your DEV team should be getting payed overtime, and in contact with MS to iron this issue out.

    Please do not dare label it as a BONUS.

    Any file which currently has firewall access can now via code injection etc contact a new malicious or not IP address and install software without our knowledge or make program changes , or deposit a 3rd party file / RAT / Backdoor / Trojan or EXFILTRATE ( EXFIL ) important data.

    How can the ALERT feature self disable when it is password protected? Where is this password stored? Encrypted? Hashed?

    Again please stop making this seem like a minor issue. When it is of the utmost importance and as you had previously stated are working around the clock to fix it. It was not a BONUS was not labeled as a BONUS and if it was a BONUS remove the BONUS from my SUB price because I and 15 other users ( not posting here ) are about to change software.

    I do not like people being disengenous to thier community, or to those with lesser knowledge on security best practice standards / OWASP etc.

    kind regards,

  • Negligence
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    "

    Neither is leaving your front door unlocked, until an uninvited stranger walks through it.

  • The update with the fix is already in the wild but the delivery is delayed for some of us.
    Hope it gets pushed faster.
    Using block as default until I get the new patch.

  • Enemy
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    'Alert mode' seems to be staying enabled on my end now; possibly after the update ~1 hour ago.

    I'll keep an eye on it, and if it's fixed I appreciate it - but this was really bad. You never want to lose trust in your security solutions, and now I'll have to continue to go out of my way confirming everything is working as intended. Just to reiterate - this was not a minor issue and should never have been portrayed as such.

  • Chris_Munday
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    updated mine a few seconds ago but full-screening a youtube video still disables alert mode, even when it's password protected.

    If something as simple as full-screening something can bypass a password and disable a security feature, it worries me how easily a person with malicious intention might be able to exploit this software.

    It leads me to believe that this software isn't as secure as it's making out to be. This is I believe what's called a zero-day vulnerability. Maybe @Negligence could confirm?

  • Hello,

    Here are the release notes of the lastest Bitdefender build 27.0.35.146. (I can't share the link since I am too new to BD community but search this on Google "Bitdefender build number update" and click on the page named "Latest Bitdefender Build Version & Manual Update Guide")

    Release notes include:
    – Fixed an issue causing a Bitdefender process crash.
    – Fixed an issue where Alert Mode would turn off when an app entered full screen. ——————> this is the fix that all we waited for almost ~1 month
    – Updated the Safepay framework for enhanced security.

    According to the page above this new build was released on 11 April 2024 (last Thursday) but on my side I did not received it yet.

    I tried to manually check for updates this morning and I received just definitions update not a product update which I know it request me to restart my machine to get it installed.

    Have a nice day and let's hope that the new build will arrive to most us this week.

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Yes, the issue was fixed in the latest build version 27.0.35.146.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Negligence
    edited April 17
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    Does bitdefender not use the update feature to update the program package?

    I have attempted updates on 3 platforms, all remain the same version and the ALERT issue is still an issue.

  • Chris_Munday
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    I'm still stuck on 27.0.30.140… why would Bitdefender roll this out gradually and not include everyone on this forum whose been raising the issue?

    Can you ask them to roll it out to all of us please, I'd like to be able to resume normal activity on my computer, including getting back to work securely.

    Thanks.

  • technomad
    technomad ✭✭
    edited April 18
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    Here is the update info but like others the manual update from the tray icon does not force the latest update for me.

    https://www.bitdefender.co.uk/consumer/support/answer/88539/

  • Alexandru_BD
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    All Bitdefender updates are rolled out gradually for several reasons. This approach helps mitigate the risk of widespread issues affecting all users simultaneously. By rolling out the updates gradually, developers can monitor for any unexpected bugs or compatibility issues before expanding the update to a larger audience. Despite rigorous testing, there's always a possibility that unforeseen issues may arise once an update is deployed to a large user base at once.

    A large scale-update may also put a strain on servers and networks, thus a gradual release can better manage server load and ensure a smooth distribution process. By controlling the pace of the rollout, developers can monitor metrics such as installation success rates, user engagement, and crash reports to gauge the update's performance and make adjustments if needed. This of course is not something new and the rollout practice is widely used not only by antivirus vendors, but by other software providers as well.

    I know patience is running thin on this topic, but the update will soon arrive for everyone.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Alexandru_BD
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    We are starting to receive successful update confirmations from forum members as well:

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Hello,

    I manually checked for updates when I arrived at home from work and I got the update. My build number is 27.0.35.147 after the update and no restart of the system was required.

    I have tested with YouTube videos, a couple of games and Windows Media Player and the AlertMode is no longer disabling by itself.

    This thread can be closed and in the future if the issue come back best way is to start a new thread since all the AlertMode bugs that product had so far in the past don't have the same root cause.

  • technomad
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    I also received the latest version after a manual update this morning. 😀

  • Negligence
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    Same here.

    Today it seems the desktop updated after the tray update. No reboot requested but ALERT mode remains enabled.

    Here, on my portable, well even though I do the tray update my client will still not update to new version.

  • numedecod
    edited April 19
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    Lucky ones who received the update. I still have the same version on two PCs with the tray update.
    The rollout seems to be on account basis.

  • Hello again,

    For all the people that does not receive the update just give it more time and you will receive the update. You can check regularly for updates manually as I do on my side. Yesterday when I checked manually for updates on 4 systems that I have (2 desktops, 2 Laptops) the update was received only by one of them. Today's morning all the remaining 3 systems received the update so on my side everything is fine.

    Have a great day and stay secure.