Tag Archives: Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Update Your Applications With CNET TechTracker

Despite the reality, that critical vulnerabilities continue to be discovered in popular software applications, virtually on a daily basis, very few computer users monitor their system for insecure software installations.

In fact, according to recent statistics from Secunia, the rate of patching and updating compliance this year, is even less than in previous years. Nothing like going out of the way to help a cyber criminal – as if they need any help!

Experienced users, on the other hand, are unlikely to fall behind in ensuring their systems are patched, and it’s improbable (I hope), that they have insecure programs running on their machines.

So, what makes experienced users different from typical users in this critical area? There’s no great mystery – it’s pretty simple really.

Experienced users are generally more aware, that free, automated applications, designed to take the burden out of updating and patching installed applications,  are readily available for download.

CNET’s TechTracker is one of these free services designed to scan a user’s computer to seek out outdated installed applications, and then provide the mechanism to automate updating of outdated software.

According to CNET, their software catalog accesses over 80,000 software titles, making the database “the most comprehensive and trusted database of software products and updates in the world.”

The following screen capture  shows the results (in the Taskbar), of my first scan on an outdated test system.

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The full report is fairly comprehensive, and shows both outdated and up to date applications. In the following screen capture, I’ve focused on those applications that are out of date.

Updating the out of date applications was easy. A simple click on the “download now” button, gets things underway.

I’d like to see a “download them all” button, or something similar, built into this application. Not very hard to do, I don’t think.

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A very cool feature included in TechTracker is setting a preference to receive installed software update notification by email.

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System requirements: Windows XP, or newer.

Browsers: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 7+, Safari 3+, Chrome current version.

Download at: CNET (registration required).

Similar applications reviewed here:

Secunia Personal Software Inspector

FileHippo Update Checker

It’s important to understand that all software of this type may well have shortcomings of one type, or another. For example, this application may not support all programs.

This should not be surprising, given the enormous quantity of available applications. The most popular applications, of course (the ones you are most likely to have installed), are covered.

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Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Cloud Computing Applications, Computer Audit Applications, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Test Your Software for Vulnerabilities – Free Secunia Software Inspector

If you are a security conscious computer user you are, most likely, generally well armed when it comes to ensuring your system is not open to compromise, or exploitation, by malware in the wild.

It is probable you have protected your machine with an appropriate defense system including a firewall (either software or hardware), a sound and effective malware suite (including anti-virus and spyware), and an additional protection layer against zero-day threats with the installation of an application such as ThreatFire 3 developed by PC Tools.

You can relax and you can consider yourself relatively safe, or perhaps even invulnerable, right? Well, maybe not. Sure, most of use Microsoft’s Windows Update so that we are current with operating system critical updates, and security fixes. You can determine whether or not you are running the latest WUA by visiting Windows Update.

But, where many of us may still be vulnerable is in the lack of consideration we have given to the vulnerabilities that exist in our currently installed 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, BitDefender, RealPlayer.

So, wouldn’t it be great if there was an application that could do the job of ensuring that all installed applications were either patched or up-to-date? Well, there is; and it’s free.

The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) from Secunia 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.

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.

Quick Facts:

  • Allows you to secure your PC – Patch your applications – Be proactive
  • Scans for Insecure and End-of-Life applications
  • 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/2003 Server/Vista

The Secunia PSI is free for private use.

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Freeware, Malware Advisories, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Uncategorized, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Are Your Applications Vulnerable? Find Out with Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector

secunia2.jpgIf you are a security conscious computer user you are, most likely, generally well armed when it comes to ensuring your system is not open to compromise, or exploitation, by malware in the wild.

It is probable you have protected your machine with an appropriate defense system including a firewall (either software or hardware), a sound and effective malware suite (including anti-virus and spyware), and an additional protection layer against zero-day threats with the installation of an application such as ThreatFire 3 developed by PC Tools.

You can relax and you can consider yourself relatively safe, or perhaps even invulnerable, right? Well, maybe not. Sure, most of use Microsoft’s Windows Update so that we are current with operating system critical updates, and security fixes. You can determine whether or not you are running the latest WUA by visiting Windows Update.

But, where many of us are still vulnerable, is in the lack of consideration we have given to the vulnerabilities that exist in our currently installed applications.

Some recent examples of 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, BitDefender, RealPlayer.

So, wouldn’t it be great if there was a free application that could do the job of ensuring that all installed applications were either patched or up-to-date? Well, there is.

The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) from Secunia 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.

ZD Net, one of my favorite sites has stated “Secunia Personal Software Inspector, quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine”.

Quick Overview:

Allows you to secure your PC – Patch your applications – Be proactive

Scans for Insecure and End-of-Life applications

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.

Download at: Secunia https://psi.secunia.com/

The Secunia PSI is free for private use.

1 Comment

Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Freeware, Software, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools