An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

January 3, 2009

Update Vulnerable Programs

Secunia is a respected security service provider that tracks vulnerabilities in more than 20,000 applications and operating systems. To find information about the latest vulnerabilities, you could subscribe to Secunia's mailing lists, but if you want to know whether there are known security issues for the software installed in your computer, install Secunia Personal Security Inspector.

The Windows application scans your computer and it lists the insecure programs, information about vulnerabilities and links to the patches. In most cases, Secunia provides direct links to the latest updates, so they are easy to download and install. To find more information about security problems and to list all the software from your computer that needs to be updated, switch to the advanced interface.


Secunia collected data from 20,000 users of the software and found at least one vulnerability in 98.09% of the cases. "By insecure program it is understood, that there is a newer version of the program available from the vendor that corrects one or more vulnerabilities, but the user has yet to install the secure version. A vulnerability in a program can be exploited by hackers to anything from compromising a PC, to automatically install trojans/viruses, to sniff out private information (passwords, credit cards information, etc)."

Not all applications include auto-update and users have to manually update to the latest versions. Google is one of the companies that thinks it's important to update software without any user intervention, that's why most Google software has an auto-update feature or is integrated with Google Update.

Secunia's software focuses on updates that solve security problems. More comprehensive solutions for updating your software include UpdateStar, FileHippo Update Checker and Appget, but none of them is very reliable.



12 comments:

  1. There is also SUMO (http://www.kcsoftwares.com/?sumo)

    ReplyDelete
  2. An there is also online inspector:

    http://secunia.com/software_inspector/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Paid post? Looks like it...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Paid post for an excellent free software developed by a reputable company? I don't think it makes any sense.

    (This blog has never included any paid post and it never will.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Alex, is there a way to change the browser in Secunia, it opens IE for updates. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Secunia PSI (1.0.0.3) opens the default browser for updates. If your default browser is Firefox, it uses it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. More comprehensive solutions for updating your software include [...], but none of them is very reliable.

    Not very reliable??? Is that claim based on anything? And is Seconia PSI considered reliable?

    Aside from your weird claim about reliability, I do agree with your findings. Even though Seconia PSI is not a software update checker, it functions almost as efficiently as software update checkers like FileHippo and UpdateStar. The sad reason for this is that almost all popular applications contain security problems, making the lists that general update checkers publish almost identical to the list of applications with known vulnerabilities.

    By the way, also worth mentioning are:
    * RadarSync
    * Saleen Updater
    * Software Informer

    ReplyDelete
  8. " Teme64 said on January 4, 2009 10:41 PM PDT:
    Secunia PSI (1.0.0.3) opens the default browser for updates. If your default browser is Firefox, it uses it."

    I have Google Chrome as my default browser and it still opened IE7 for updates.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's because Google Chrome is flaky about such things. Try setting it to the default browser on more than one account on a Vista / Windows 7 machine.

    ReplyDelete
  10. nice one, think i'll give my laptop a health check!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Today I have done my test of software updates programs. Here you have my conclusions:
    1. FileHippo Update Checker - Looks nice but small list of programs, they don't have important for me program such as: doPDF, MPlayer, Revo Uninstaller. Useless.
    2. Software Informer - Bad versions of some programs. Useless.
    3. Secunia PSI - double entries of some programs. Difficult to get help from them. Useless.
    4. UpdateStar - Doesn't recognize some programs. Useless.
    5. RadarSync - fatal error. During installation my antivirus found viruses. Additional software was installed without my agreement. Useless.
    6. SUMo - doesn't check for main programs but for it elements. Useless.
    7. Update Notifier - program that satisfy me. It has all my programs. They have fast update time. It can check your software even one hour. They plan to add in future beta options of programs.
    My option: Update Notifier: http://cleansofts.org/.

    ReplyDelete