How Insecure Is Your Computer? Ask Secunia PSI
By on January 4th, 2008

We hear about Windows security exploitations almost every day. Most of these exploitations are on computers which haven’t been updated with the latest security fixes through Online Update. We don’t though hear enough about exploitations through any other software we might have installed in our system.

In today’s world of freeware craze, we install tons of programs and some of us are even diligent about removing unused programs frequently. But, how often do we take the time to see if they are updated? Unless the program offers an automatic update check and you had enabled that option, you might have a year old software for all you know.

SecuniaSecunia offers a Personal Software Inspector (PSI) tool to analyze your computer’s software and provides you with list of software that needs updated. Next time someone asks me to clean up their computer, I am going to run this first to see what needs to be updated.

Secunia Quick Facts

  • Secunia is not a secutiry software – it is a great complement to one though
  • It relies on metadata of executables and library files to determine versions and does not check for integrity of software files
  • It collects all the metadata information to Secunia’s server to be analyzed to determine the applications installed in your system
  • Provides a detailed report of missing security related updates
  • Installs easy and runs quick too
  • Provides a tabbed report with different sets of information – programs no longer supported, programs with all known patches, insecure programs, etc.
  • Provides a useful ‘Toolbox’ offering a set of links related to a problem offering to help you determine a problem and how to resolve it quickly.
  • You get an option to ignore an application or folder for future scans if you know it is not in Secunia’s database to avoid unnecessary warnings.
  • You get have Secunia running actively (I know I won’t) to get alerted as you run and install programs. Some may find this useful.
  • Plus, in the Overview tab you could see how your system security is improving over weeks as you use Secunia as well.
  • FREE for personal use
  • Web version is free for everyone to use.

I have reviewed AppSnap in ShanKri-la before which is similar to Secunia in its function. AppSnap offers install and uninstall options to some of the popular freeware which is very nice. Here are some links to get you started.

Secunia PSI

Secunia PSI FAQ

Download Secunia PSI

Here are some screenshots from PSI run in my computer:

secunia scan

Secunia

Here is an example of a an Insecure application and what PSI offers to resolve it. (click to enlarge)

Secunia results

What do you think about Secunia? I think if they added a scheduled check like other security programs, it would be hard to ignore for a lot of security conscious folks.

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Author: admin

Keith Dsouza has written and can be contacted at keith@techie-buzz.com.

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