I was reading Claus’ Grand Stream Dreams site today and came across a post where he mentioned Secunia’s Software Inspector, a free online application vulnerability scanner that will search your computer for software with known security issues. It’s a Java applet which doesn’t require installation and performed a through system scan quite quickly.
Within a few minutes I had a report of common programs I had installed on my system, what the version was, and if the particular version had any known vulnerabilities. Adobe Flash 9 was one of the programs flagged as being an insecure release, and I was provided a link to download a secure version of the software.
After updating my vulnerable programs, I decided to try Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector (PSI), which is also free for personal use. This small program is installed locally and operates much like the online scanner, but the personal version boasts it can identify 300,000 unique application versions, while the online scanner can only do 110,000 software packages.
For further detail read Claus’ excellent review or check out the Secunia product pages. You can also search Secunia’s security advisories by product or vendor to see just how many of your software products contain known vulnerabilities.