Secunia PSI Automates Vulnerability Scans

Stephen Yagielowicz
A new, free tool that all computer users can benefit from is Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) — an application that scours a user's system, reporting on vulnerable and not-currently-updated software.

According to the company, it performs daily tests on various products searching for vulnerabilities and verifying whether or not the current fixes issued by vendors have actually solved the problem — proving that a "fix" is not always the case. Secunia also believes this vulnerability information should be publicly available, verified and reliable.

With that introduction, the company has launched the first official version of the Secunia PSI after a 17- month-long beta period.

In a post on the Secunia Blog, which is used to communicate opinions on vulnerabilities, security, ethics and more, Niels Henrik Rasmussen discussed the new product, which is more mature and bug free than the beta release and now runs on Windows 2000, XP 32/64bit and Vista 32/64bit versions.

One new feature that made it into the PSI is the "simple interface."

"For most of the usual PSI users the simple interface probably won't become popular, however, our goal with the PSI is to (eventually) make all users patch all programs," Rasmussen said. "Many new (not so usual) PSI users requested that the PSI become easier to use, thus we invented a more 'straightforward' interface without any 'unnecessary' features."

Secunia also launched a forum where PSI users can discuss patching, product updates, exploits, the PSI, and anything else security-related. While Secunia staff helps investigate and answer some of the issues being discussed, it hopes to run the board as a lightly moderated forum where anything security-related is accepted.

"Thus far, the Secunia PSI has helped users patch millions of programs for the almost 800,000 users of the beta versions," Rasmussen said. "On a daily basis thousands of users update their software to fix vulnerabilities based on the PSI results. We hope that the launch of the final version as well as a forum full of helpful users will encourage even more people to secure their systems by patching insecure software."

According to a ZDNet Top 10 review of essential security tools, Secunia PSI was rated number one, with the reviewer stating that it is "quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine."

Download your free copy of Secunia PSI today at