Monday, March 17, 2008

Patch management for HOME Pc: Secunia PSI

| Armando Romeo |
I find it better than Antivirus. It is well-known, my bad feelings against Antiviruses. So I can argue this tool is much more useful
than any Antiviruses. Just ask yourself how a hacker can infect you with a malware.


Most of the cases it is by exploiting a vulnerability into one of the software installed on your PC. This has been done by the most dangerous malwares in the last years.
They need a vulnerability to spread. So why not stopping vulnerabilities instead of hoping that AV updates will cure the disease while
the hole will still remain open?

I must say that I was impressed by this new tool from Secunia. And more impressed by the fact that it is free.

Secunia PSI makes it extremely easy to keep up your computer up to date with the latest patches available from secunia patches database.
It works by scanning your pc, locate old software with recognized vulnerability and apply patch. Completely automatic and with a nice interface.

It stays in the tray and warns you about available patches.

It also provides a nice score of the overall security level of your installed software,
an easy way to incentivate users to reach a higher level of protection.
The numbers shown by Secunia says it all:

Adobe Reader 8.x 172,653 61.07% of all computers affected
Apple Quicktime 7.x 133,169 47.10% of all computers affected
Sun Java 1.5.x 98,618 34.88% of all computers affected
Skype 3.x 57,496 20.34% of all computers affected

And I must admit that even my PC needed a bunch of fixes when I first tried PSI.
I recommend to disable the "Show only easy to patch programs" if you're familiar enough with your PC.

All in all, especially under windows, patches are almost always an executable that you have to double click...

Citing Secunia: "81.01% of all computers connected to the Internet needs to apply at least one security update to secure their computer, until updated, users risk falling victim of a hacker by simply: Visiting a website, opening a PDF file, viewing a movie, etc. - and this is just over a period of 24 hours"

Interesting isn't it?
I find PSI one of the best tools available for personal security. Something it should be there along with the useless AV's, that
will fail to recognize a fingerprint of a virus in which the coder has changed 1 single byte of the source code.


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