Vulnerabilities / Threats
6/26/2009
02:27 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Most PC Users Have A Dozen Dangerous Apps

The average PC user has a dozen unpatched applications installed.

Imagine trying to fend off burglars in a house with all the doors and windows left open. Sure, you can manage for a while with a Doberman and a shotgun, but being able to lock up might just help you sleep better.

That's more or less the situation in which computer users find themselves. According to Secunia, the typical Internet user has a dozen insecure applications on his or her computer.

Data gathered by the company indicates that PC users have, on average, 80 applications installed and that 15% of them are not up to date.

The main reason that software makers release update patches is to fix known vulnerabilities.

"Unpatched programs can lead to silent installations of malicious code simply by visiting a Web site, opening a PDF, a movie, or other 'innocently' looking file types and content," said Secunia IT development manager Jakob Balle in a blog post. "If you want to feel safe from drive-by-attacks and when opening e-mail attachments, then you need to get patching now."

Only 2% of PC users have all their applications up-to-date, according to the company.

Secunia argues that keeping programs up-to-date is more important than running antivirus software or using a firewall. Antivirus software makers and firewall vendors have a slightly different perspective.

Even so, reports from other organizations underscore the value of rapid patching. A study released in May by Thomas Duebendorfer of Google Switzerland and Stefan Frei of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) found that Chrome's automatic, silent update mechanism offered greater security than the update methods used by competing browsers.

Secunia offers free software called Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector) to help PC users identify programs that need to be fixed.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on what executives really think about security. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2009-5142
Published: 2014-08-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in timthumb.php in TimThumb 1.09 and earlier, as used in Mimbo Pro 2.3.1 and other products, allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the src parameter.

CVE-2010-5302
Published: 2014-08-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in timthumb.php in TimThumb before 1.15 as of 20100908 (r88), as used in multiple products, allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the QUERY_STRING.

CVE-2010-5303
Published: 2014-08-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the displayError function in timthumb.php in TimThumb before 1.15 (r85), as used in multiple products, allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors related to $errorString.

CVE-2014-0965
Published: 2014-08-21
IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 7.0.x before 7.0.0.33, 8.0.x before 8.0.0.9, and 8.5.x before 8.5.5.3 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via a crafted SOAP response.

CVE-2014-3022
Published: 2014-08-21
IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 7.0.x before 7.0.0.33, 8.0.x before 8.0.0.9, and 8.5.x before 8.5.5.3 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via a crafted URL that triggers an error condition.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Three interviews on critical embedded systems and security, recorded at Black Hat 2014 in Las Vegas.