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01 September 2010, 16:18

Secunia's PSI 2.0 beta tackles Windows update annoyances

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Zoom Secunia PSI 2.0 sniffs out vulnerable versions of installed programs.
Danish security firm Secunia has released version 2 of its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) application. The software is able to automatically update frequently used, and thus attacker-friendly, programs such as Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Firefox, Java and Skype. The free beta version of the Windows tool scans the system for vulnerable versions of installed applications which could pose a security risk. PSI sends the results of all scans to Secunia for statistical analysis.

According to Secunia, automatic updates are currently available for around 15% of the applications included in the application database. Secunia plans to continuously extend the auto-update functionality to include further programs over the course of the beta phase. For many other applications, PSI provides links to relevant updates for manual download. If Software Inspector fails to recognise a program, users can forward it to Secunia for consideration through the "Are you missing a program?" button. Although the application database is not exhaustive, in testing with The H's associates at heise Security, Secunia PSI recognised the bulk of the programs installed on the test system.

The new beta reflects Secunia's work on the PSI user interface and presentation of scan results. Business customers can also couple the program with the company's Corporate Software Inspector (CSI) solution for businesses, allowing them to remotely monitor the level of patching of staff who use their home PCs to access sensitive data on the company network.

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