Secunia PSI: A disappointing first encounter

by Maskil on July 15, 2008

psioverview

As a former corporate IT person, I’m obedient about using XP’s Automatic Updates and Microsoft Update to ensure that the Windows and Office components on my PC are fully patched.

In addition, most of the non-Microsoft products I use came to me via Google Pack, so Google Updater takes care of the patching and updating for those.

Until now, the missing link has been a solution for any products not covered by the big two in my computing life. I was therefore delighted when I came across a reference to a product by the name of Secunia PSI or Personal Software Inspector. (The hat tip for this one goes to WorldStart Computer Tips.)

I duly downloaded the latest version from the Secunia website (Secunia PSI v0.9.0.4, aka Release Candidate 3) and installed it on my Test PC. It automatically ran the first scan. The results were somewhat confusing, in that Secunia hadn’t managed to identify ANY applications on my PC, so I re-ran the scan.

Still no useful results. The Overview tab gave the following results after 2 scans reported as successful (I didn’t save any screen-image prints):

Good morning, <unregistered user>

Waiting for first scan to finish.

Secunia System Score [?] 0%

Last Full System Scan [?] N/A

State of Programs [?] 0 Insecure

0 End-of-Life

0 Patched

0 Total

Similar results were shown on the Insecure, End-of-Life and Patched tabs, i.e.:

Patched Programs [?] Version Detected [?] Security State [?] Direct [?]

No data. Waiting for first scan to finish.

On the Scan tab, however, it recognised that successful scans had been run!

Scan Status

Scan completed in 3 minutes, 13 seconds

Last & Next Full System Scan

The last full system scan was conducted on:

N/A

The next scheduled full system scan is on:

N/A

Error log

No errors detected.

I logged the error report through the application’s feedback interface, but there’s been no response from the vendor thus far (the panel requests name and e-mail address details).

A disappointing first encounter with Secunia PSI, especially considering that most of the reviews I’d read were very favourable.

My Test PC is running Windows XP/SP3, whereas the system requirements for Secunia PSI mention only SP2. It seems unlikely that this would account for the problem, however.

I look forward to bringing you Part II of this review once I have a functional version of the product in hand.

PSI – Personal Software Inspector – Secunia

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