back to article Secunia tool helps surfers to keep up to date with patches

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 …


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  1. G2
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    that tool tends to crash quite a lot

    Secunia's tool tends to crash quite a lot for me, so i use FileHippo's update checker. Last time i tried to use Secunia's tool was around May... crashed like hell so i gave up on it for a while.... FileHippo's works just as well.

  2. EJ
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    Online Software Inspector (OSI) version is very cool

    Even the quick-n-easy OSI version of the tool is simple and effective in keeping your Windows environment up-to-date on on patches. One of the greatest conveniences is the link to the download for whatever update is missing.

  3. Tom Paine

    Yeah, but...

    Presumably this is a simple look up table that grabs the installed s/w list from the Registry (or if it's a little smarter, actually crawls the disk looking for non-standard binaries) - and then does a lookup, presumably online, against a database that says "Hmmm, md5sum 0xdf34ab84d2? That's Frobnitz Version 4.2, which has [ SIX ] vulnerabilities which need patching." At the risk of stating the bleedin obvious, whilst it obviously helps to know if you have unpatched vulnerabilities, getting a clean bill of health from this tool and others is definitely NOT cause for "congratulations!" What about the vulnerabilities the tool doesn't know about yet? What about the insecure configurations? It knows nothing of these things, but gives those PHBs who are just clueful enough to know that they should care about security the warm fuzzies, so they can smile smugly and think "I fixed the Internet" - Dilbert-style.

    Mine's the one with the bag of humbugs and a lot of confiscated balls that got kicked into my garden in the pocket...

  4. Dave Murray


    "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."

    Slight mistake there.... OSI is in fact the original free version of the tool and is basically a cut down version of PSI that runs in a browser for those who aren't allowed to install software. NSI is the only commercial version.

    @ Yeah, But: No it doesn't just grab a list of software from the registry, it actually scans the whole drive and tells you everywhere that you have out of date software installed. (If you set it up correctly.) Including all those old versions of Java and Flash that their updates never remove, old versions that other apps have installed in unusual places, etc. Having used PSI since the first beta I'm always impressed that it detects all the open source and unusual apps that I run. Try it, I bet it discovers all sorts of unpatched vulnerabilities on your system you had no idea about.

  5. Bastard Sheep
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    Absolutely brilliant program. I too am VERY impressed by the variety of programs it can keep track of. The only one I've had issues with was VLC Media Player where it detected the wrong version for a while or told me the most up to date version was a version I couldn't see.

    The occasional crashing doesn't bother me as my only windows PC is a laptop which gets rebooted multiple times a day as I go between offices. I just wish there was a mac version of it. Then again, I've wanted OSX to get an install manager similar to Window's "Add/Remove Programs" & MSI infrastructure for over a decade now and there's still no hint of it.

  6. Tony Paulazzo
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    This title has 5 security alerts

    It is a good little app, but keeps finding Flash9 DLLs on my HD (even my laptop which was fresh installed and Flash 10 loaded recently). Had to go in Safe Mode to delete the annoying bugger.

    While it's not the be all and end of security, at least it's another step in securing your system against the black hats.

  7. John Dougald McCallum

    Yeah but,No but,yeah but whatever...

    Tell us something that we don't know ??????

    @By Tom Paine Posted Wednesday 26th November 2008 15:21 GMT

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