Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/26/secunia_psi/

Secunia tool helps surfers to keep up to date with patches

An Anadin Plus for patching headaches

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 26th November 2008 12:16 GMT

Security notification firm Secunia released the final version of its software inspector tool on Tuesday, 17 months after the first beta of a product that aims to help surfers to keep up to date with security patches.

The Secunia PSI utility, which comes free of charge to consumers, scans Windows systems to provide a clear guide of applications that need patching or are out of date. Better still it provides links to download locations, detailed advisories from Secunia on the flaws and information of where utilities are installed. The product works of Windows 2000, XP and Vista.

Exploits based on application vulnerabilities, as opposed to application systems flaws, are becoming increasingly commonplace. Secunia PSI also provides notification about Windows flaws but it's on the application side of the house that it brings the greatest benefit. Without the tool it's hard to imagine how consumers can keep up to date with application patches.

All-clear

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 bundles similar functionality but other paid-for security suites are yet to include the functionality.

The lightweight 530KB utility was easy to install and ran through a scan in less than five minutes (it may take longer for those who haven't used beta version of the software). Beta versions of the software have been downloaded on more than 790.000 systems, according to Thomas Kristensen, Secunia's chief technology officer.

To coincide with the release of the final version of the software, Secunia is debuting a forum where users can seek help on patching and securing their systems.

Secunia also markets a commercial version of its security inspector to corporates, called Online Software Inspector, and an Enterprise version of the software, Network Software Inspector. ®