SecuniaWe’ve talked about Secunia’s online software inspector before. It doesn’t require that you download any application, and it operates completely through your browser. The purpose of using it is to find out-dated software on your computer. You may not see much of a threat in running an older version of an application, but your computer can be left vulnerable to attacks when it comes to things like web browsers or instant messengers.

A report by Secunia back in May stated that 28% of the applications being used are out-dated. With more than 33% of users running an old version of QuickTime, Secunia said "all it takes is one unpatched Quicktime vulnerability and a provocative video title to compromise a lot of visitors."

A new tool by Secunia called the Personal Software Inspector (PSI) hopes to make it easier for Windows users to know when there are new versions of their applications available. PSI is currently in a Beta state, but it is a free downloadable application that a user installs instead of being web-based like before. It examines the files on your computer (mostly EXE, DLL, and OCX files), and collects version information from them to be sent to Secunia’s File Signatures engine to make a comparison.

The great thing about this tool is that it sits in your System Tray constantly monitoring for more insecure software installations. If one is found it will give you the instructions needed so that you can upgrade to the latest version.

It’s important to know that this does not check for malicious software or whether your computer has already been compromised…it is just checking to see if you’re running the latest version of more than 4,200 applications.

Here are the benefits of using Secunia PSI:

  • The Secunia PSI will be available free of charge
  • Calculates your unique Secunia System Score
  • Automatically scans your computer
  • Enables you to update Insecure/End-of-Life software
  • Provides Direct Download Links to security updates & patches
  • Detects and advises on more than 4,200 applications
  • Direct correlation between thousands of Secunia Advisories and your specific system and software
  • Secure SSL encrypted connection to Secunia

I decided to try this out for myself on a computer I knew was running an out-dated version of Firefox (it’s my server which I don’t use for anything other than backups). I wanted to see what it would do, and what upgrade option it would offer me. It actually found that Internet Explorer 7 was out-dated as well as the version of the .NET Framework I was running. Firefox was the only one that offered a direct download link (clicking on it pulled up my default browser and initiated the download immediately), but the .NET Framework offered a link where I could receive more information:

Secunia PSI

Overall, I’m really impressed with this application and I think it has earned its place on all of my computers. It’s nice that Secunia is developing such an extensive application that is capable of monitoring more than 4,000 different programs for updates. I believe that it is the first of its kind to do this on such a large scale, and hopefully people will begin using it.

Download Secunia Personal Software Inspector
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