Skip the navigation

One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched

Updates are available, but users haven't installed them, says Secunia

December 28, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - One in five applications installed on Windows PCs are missing security patches, a Copenhagen-based vulnerability tracker has reported.

According to Secunia APS, more than 20% of the applications scanned by its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility were open to attack because available fixes for security flaws had not been applied.

"More than 20% of all applications installed on users' PCs have known security flaws, but the users have yet to install the patch provided by the vendor of [the] product," said Jakob Balle, Secunia's development manager, in a post to the company's blog last week.

The 20% figure was based on scans of more than 14.5 million applications installed on the Windows PCs operated by users who downloaded and installed Secunia's PSI. The utility scans for some 4,200 different applications and reports on their patch status.

The 1-in-5 ratio, however, is an improvement over earlier PSI scans. Last May, Secunia said that 28% of the applications PSI scanned were missing available security updates.

Secunia released the free patch-detection utility a year ago but shifted it to Release Candidate 1 (RC1) stage earlier this month. The company claimed that nearly 191,000 users have downloaded and run the program.

PSI, which runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Server 2003, can be downloaded from Secunia's Web site.

Read more about Security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.



Our Commenting Policies