Feeds

Who's riddling Windows PCs with gaping holes? It's your crApps

New study: Microsoft slashes bugs, Java and Adobe bring up the rear

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Nearly nine out of ten security vulnerabilities in Windows computers last year were the fault of popular third-party applications, as opposed to Microsoft's own software.

That's according to security biz Secunia, which analysed flaws found in the most-used 50 Windows programs - 29 from Microsoft (including its operating system family) and 21 from third-party developers.

In 2012, 86 per cent of 2,755 vulnerabilities identified by Secunia's study were found in code developed outside of Microsoft; that's up 8 percentage points on 2011's 78 per cent, we're told. In 2007, the figure was just 57 per cent.

Secunia credited Microsoft for its continued focus on shoring up security measures in its products, and reducing its share of the software vulnerabilities on its Windows platform. The Danish biz added that sysadmins must not forget to roll out updates for all installed code rather than just Microsoft's and the few "usual suspects from other vendors".

Last year, according to Secunia, 5.5 per cent of the vulnerabilities found were present in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 operating systems and 8.5 per cent were in Microsoft's user-land programs. In 2011, the numbers were 78 per cent in non-Microsoft code, 10 per cent in Windows OSes and 12 per cent in Microsoft applications.

The number of vulnerabilities tracked by Secunia continues to increase, almost doubling over the last five years. Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Oracle's Java runtime engine are among the third-party applications included in Secunia's study.

“Companies cannot continue to ignore or underestimate non-Microsoft programs as the major source of vulnerabilities that threaten their IT infrastructure and overall IT-security level. The number of vulnerabilities is on the increase, but many organisations continue to turn a blind eye, thereby jeopardising their entire IT infrastructure: It only takes one vulnerability to expose a company,” said Morten R. Stengaard, Secunia’s director of product management.

The total number of vulnerabilities in the top-50 most popular Windows programs was 1,137 in 2012. Most of these were rated by Secunia as either highly critical (78.8 per cent) or extremely critical (5.3 per cent). Despite the hype about zero-day exploits, 84 per cent of vulnerabilities had a patch available on the day they were disclosed, up from 72 per cent in 2011.

More details on all these figures and more than be found in Secunia's Vulnerability Review 2013 report. The biz collected the figures from anonymised data gathered from system scans by the millions of users of Secunia's patch management software, Personal Software Inspector. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.