Recently, both I, and fellow Blogger Rick Robinette, over at What’s On My PC, have written on Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI), a free application that ensures all installed applications on your computer are either patched, or up-to-date.
Here’s one more reason to bring this free application to your attention once again. According to Secunia, the Danish security firm responsible for PSI, 98% of computers running Windows operating systems, are open to a successful malware attack.
Not all of us, it seems, make use of Microsoft’s Windows Update so that we are current with operating system critical updates, and security fixes. Even worse, virtually none of us have given any consideration to the vulnerabilities that exist in our currently installed productivity applications, and utilities.
Less than one in 50 Windows driven computers, according to Secunia’s released statistics, are totally patched. Secunia goes on to report that the rate of patching and updating compliance, is even less than in previous years. Now, how dumb is that?
Virtually on a daily basis critical vulnerabilities are discovered in popular software applications. Some recent application vulnerabilities include, Mozilla FireFox, Apple iTunes, QuickTime, Skype internet phone, Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.02, 6.03, Sun Java Run-Time, Macromedia Flash 7, WinZip 8.1, AOL Instant Messenger 5.5, Windows/MSN Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger 6.0, Bit Defender, and RealPlayer.
Just this morning, for example, according to anti-malware company BitDefender, a new Trojan horse program identified as Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.B which works as a Firefox plug-in, has been discovered.
Survey sample size – 20,000 users
User exposure – 98.1% have one or more insecure programs
User exposure – 30.27% have one to five insecure programs
User exposure – 25.07% have six to ten insecure programs
User exposure – 45.76% have eleven or more insecure programs
It has been my experience, that when a malware infection happens, it is generally safe to say, the user is primarily responsible for their own misfortune. This survey points out, once again; computer users, by and large, simply refuse to take responsibility for their own Internet safety and security.
The following are the essential details from a recent article on Secunia Software Inspector.
Check Software Vulnerabilities – Free Secunia Software Inspector v1.0 Released
The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) constantly monitors your system for insecure software installations, notifies you when an insecure application is installed, and even provides you with detailed instructions for updating the application when available.
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ZD Net, one of my favorite web sites has stated “Secunia Personal Software Inspector, quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine”.
Installing this small free application will definitely assist you in identifying possible security leaks; give it a try.
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The Secunia PSI is free for private use.
Downloaded over 800,000 times
Allows you to secure your PC – Patch your applications – Be proactive
Scans for Insecure and End-of-Life applications
Verifies that all Microsoft patches are applied
Tracks your patch-performance week by week
Direct and easy access to security patches.
Detects more than 300,000 unique application versions
Provides a detailed report of missing security related updates
Provides a tabbed report which indicates programs that are no longer supported – programs with all known patches – insecure programs, etc.
Provides a Toolbox offering a set of links which helps you assess a problem and how you can resolve it.
System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP 32/64bit, and Vista 32/64bit
Download at: Download.com
As an added bonus for users, Secunia provides a forum “where PSI users can discuss patching, product updates, exploits, the PSI, and anything else security-related”.