Secunia Personal Software Inspector version 1.0 released
Following a number of beta versions and release candidates, Secunia has now finally released the official version 18.104.22.168 of its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) update manager. The vendor has corrected a number of bugs in the user interface from the previous version and ensured that PSI also works properly with Windows Vista.
PSI, which is free to private users, takes stock of the software installed on a Windows computer and compares version numbers with currently available versions. This helps users keep an overview of their PCs and ensure that ancient and vulnerable versions of applications – for example, Adobe Reader – are flagged for replacement by new versions which fix the vulnerabilities.
According to Secunia, to date around 800,000 users have made use of PSI, which supports more than 5,500 applications. PSI compares its data with a Secunia server via an SSL connection in order to classify applications as either insecure, end-of-life or patched.
Users should be aware that this may allow Secunia to obtain a complete overview of all vulnerabilities on their systems. Secunia guarantees, however, that this data will not be passed on to third parties, and will be used for its own statistical analysis only. No complaints have been received from users since PSI was first released just under 17 months ago. Secunia is one of the leading suppliers of information on security vulnerabilities in computer applications.
One shortcoming which is still present in the current edition, is the "Only show easy to update programs" option, which is activated by default and hides programs which Secunia considers tricky to update. This may give users a false sense of security, as potentially unsafe applications disappear from the list. In tests with the final version, after deactivating this option, the number of vulnerable applications rose from 5 to 17. The tool also searches for vulnerable browser add-ons for Firefox and Internet Explorer.
PSI makes it easy even for computer amateurs to find and resolve security vulnerabilities on their PCs. Secunia has even recently set up a forum for users looking for assistance, which users can access automatically just by clicking on the forum button for a particular unsafe application. PSI is not, however, suitable for keeping all applications up-to-date, as it only watches out for security-related updates.
PSI version 1 runs on Windows 2000 and on both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows XP and Vista.
- Personal Software Inspector (PSI) Secunia download page.