Yesterday, I wrote on the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI), and I mentioned in the article, that each week I receive the Qualys Vulnerability Report from Qualys, a security industry leader in vulnerability assessment, and vulnerability management.
Although Qualys is a major player in the enterprise market, at the personal consumer level, most users will not be familiar with this company. I found it interesting then, that Qualys recently released a free consumer level security tool, BrowserCheck, which will check your web browser for selected security holes in both the browser, and browser plug-ins. Not add-ons, but plug-ins.
Take a look at what Qualys CEO, Philippe Courtot has to say on Browser plug-ins, and security –
Almost 100 percent of all browsers we have surveyed have plug-ins installed that enable the user to play music, watch video, visualize PDF files and play games.
Frequently these plug-ins are overlooked by the users and are not updated, representing a significant security exposure – both for end-users and corporate clients.
I must admit, I find nothing to disagree with in that statement.
BrowserCheck is itself a plug-ins, and like most plug-ins, it’s very easy to install. Simply visit the Qualys site; install the plug-in, and you’re all set.
My first test run was on Internet Explorer 8, as the following screen captures show.
As the scan results indicate – my Internet Explorer 8 is in good shape.
With Firefox running, the results looked like this. It seems I’ve been bad, and not kept my Firefox updated. There’s good reason for this – FF 3.6.6 is slower than molasses (at least on my test machine), and I choose to roll back to FF 3.6.4
Nevertheless, to complete the test, I clicked on the “Fix it” button which immediately took me to the Firefox update site, so that I could download the latest version of Firefox.
Fast facts: The following items are detected:
Windows OS support expiration
Browser version (IE 6.0+, Firefox 3.0+, Chrome 4.0+)
Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Reader 5.x and above
Adobe Shockwave Player
Microsoft Windows Media Player
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) plug-in for Mozilla browsers
As an added security measure, take BrowserCheck for a test drive. According to available information, all major Windows web browsers are supported.
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