Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Third party program checkers

    Posted on March 21st, 2013 at 18:14 woody 10 comments

    Just received this well-reasoned message in the mail from Randy Knowles:

    *************

    It used to be that if you were diligently keeping your system updated by using the Windows Update Service, you could be sure that your Operating System was protected against vulnerabilities to malware and security exploits. But no more…

    Windows Update does a great job, but it isn’t enough anymore. Hackers are now attacking your system through third party applications. In my area of the country I estimate that as much as 80% of the infections I see are caused by vulnerabilities due to outdated or unsecure third party programs.

    Just last month (February 2013) alone, consider the following, mind boggling third party app scenario:

    Adobe Flash: Multiple vulnerabilities

    Adobe Reader & Adobe Acrobat: Two vulnerabilities were being exploited in the wild

    Adobe Shockwave Player: 2 vulnerabilities

    Google Chrome: Multiple high risk vulnerabilities fixed

    Mozilla Firefox: Multiple high risk vulnerabilities fixed

    Mozilla SeaMonkey: Multiple high risk vulnerabilties fixed

    Mozilla Thunderbird: Multiple high risk vulnerabilties fixed

    Oracle Java: 55 security fixes!

    Opera: Security enhancements

    And that’s just the month of February!! How in the world is a person supposed to 1) know about all of these third party vulnerabilities and 2) get the latest vulnerability fixes? This is what I suggest:

    1) Secunia PSI 3.0: The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a free computer security solution that identifies vulnerabilities in non-Microsoft (third-party) programs which can leave your PC open to attacks. It then supplies your computer with the necessary software security updates to keep it safe. The Secunia PSI even automates the updates for your insecure programs, making it a lot easier for you to maintain a secure PC.

    2) SUMo: SUMo (Software Update Monitor) keeps your PC up-to-date & safe by using the most recent version of your favorite software ! Unlike built-in auto update features, SUMo tells you if updates are available before you need to use your software.

    3) Lumension Patch and Remediation: Awesome Enterprise Solution: Lumension Patch and Remediation is the world’s leading patch management solution, and is available as a modular offering on the Lumension Endpoint Management and Security Suite. With Lumension Patch and Remediation, IT administrators can automatically identify and patch vulnerabilities across heterogeneous operating systems, Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications, and endpoint configurations – all of which is seamlessly managed through a single console.

    Professor Randy says: Don’t forget about your third party programs! Check them and update them regularly by using one of these great checker/updater programs. You’ll keep your computer secure by staying one step ahead of any attack!

     

    10 responses to “Third party program checkers”

    1. Woody,
      It’s not as clear as your writing or Windows Sescrets. I got Delta Search (redirect)Malware at end of Jan.,early Feb. from Chrome, which I had just put in, or the upgrade of Firefox. Secunia didn’t help. It was my first malware-and I had a mess; am permanently “spooked”, after 5 years still “newbie”.

    2. Note that “Third party program checkers” is Part 12 of Professor Randy’s excellent Computer Repair Tools. Thanks to Woody, I found Randy Knowles’ website last year and several of the Repair Tools in the multi-Part 10 came in handy when I had to get rid of malware from a couple of computers recently. Go to Randy’s webpage (the link is in the first line of Woody’s post) to see the list of other Repair Tools. Highly recommended website to bookmark.

    3. Woody, Thanks for the post that Randy made.

      Some time ago I used Opera for a while and then returned to Firefox.

      While reading Randy’s message I noticed that Opera had some Security Enhancements, so I got it Updated and selected the Automatic Update option too!
      My version of Opera was really OLD.

      I’ve noticed recent updates to Firefox have a “look alike” Opera Speed Dial look when I start a New Tab.

      For a long time I had Secunia’s program running but decided I didn’t like the ONLINE version, so I Removed it from this XP box.

      One day when I get a ROUNDTUIT I will get Secuia’s OFFLINE version installed again.

    4. Just a note: SUMo is full of advertising as you are trying to load it. It wants you to be part of all sorts of things. It was highly annoying and I did not install it.

    5. Hello everyone,

      Great comments everyone! Please note:

      Should you decide to download SUMo, please ensure that you download the ZIP/7z version (find the ZIP/7z version on the download page – just below the DOWNLOAD button). The full version comes with a program called Relevant Knowledge, which is detected by most security software as spyware.The developer explains it like this: “The NoRK version comes bundled with a SUMo toolbar. The safest to use would be the compressed versions as they do not have installers that can add any unwanted software/keys to your system/registry” Here is the link to the 7-Zip File version: http://www.kcsoftwares.com/files/sumo.zip

      Best wishes,
      Randy Knowles

    6. Try using SUMo’s downloads page, and find the SUMo Lite download icon. This version is a normal .exe and installs normally, but it is ad-free. I use it myself on three Windows OS versions (7,8 and XP) and never see any ad-push whatsoever. (When installing, go Custom and uncheck any checkboxes, if you even see that screen — I don’t.)

      Anti-spyware programs hate SUMo because of its default download, which is full of advertising.

      There are constant false-positives and driver software updates (which should not be applied unless something breaks). You are on your own to do the actual update downloads, although SUMo will send you to Search Pages to find where the newer versions are on the Web. Turn off Beta Versions when checking.

      Overall, SUMo Lite is the best I’ve seen at having updates for even obscure freeware programs and utilities. It is easy on system resources, disappears completely when not in use, and does not auto-start with Windows. It does not run scans in the background, but does take awhile to scan most systems when launched. While some updates are incorrect, I’ve seen a lot worse updaters.

      Just stay with SUMo Lite. Let the author earn money the old-fashioned way — through donations.

    7. One more updating hint — I network (crossover ethernet cable) my Windows XP laptop with my Windows 8 laptop. Downloads are so much faster in Windows 8 with Chrome, that I save a lot of time by downloading the 64-bit update installers and the 32-bit installers, then transferring the 32-bit installers through the Windows 8 Homegroup Public Downloads Folder to the Windows XP machine and installing from there.

      With my slow DSL speeds, every efficiency of a modern computer and modern OS and browser makes a significant difference, especially when the updates are for LibreOffice (32-bit only) or NitroPDF (32- and 64-bits). Big installers need a lot of power to download.

    8. Hi,

      I’m the developper of SUMo.
      Thank you for this review and kind comments.

      Should you need assistance, please contact me directly.

      Kyle

    9. Hi Kyle!

      Glad to see you follow Ask Woody!

      You have a great product in SUMo and it has saved me many hours of searching for program updates. Keep up the good work!

    10. Another free updater app that some may find useful is Patch My PC, which Softpedia maintain – http://www.softpedia.com/get/Others/Signatures-Updates/Patch-My-PC.shtml (they also offer only the ‘lite’ version of SUMo – http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/SUMo.shtml); it’s portable, configurable and updates many of the most common applications.

    Leave a reply