We usually do not cover commercial software here at Ghacks. There are only a few exceptions to that rule. One is if we got our hands on the software and are allowed to give it away for free, another if the software has a feature that is worth writing about.
Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 seems to have such a feature (the very same feature is also available in Kaspersky Antivirus 2009) that is called Application Vulnerability Analysis. The analysis will compare the version of installed software with the latest one in a software database much like software update checkers such as Sumo do.
The emphasize of the analysis lies on vulnerabilities. The module can scan the default program folders of a Windows installation and will check the installed software against a software database on the Internet.
It will display all software programs with known vulnerabilities. Not all locations are scanned by the module. A full system scan on the other hand will include the application vulnerability analysis for all files of a computer system.
The module will list all vulnerable applications of a computer system in a table. The table includes the name of the software program, the severity of the vulnerability and a link to a website containing more information.
A double-click on the link will open the security advisor in the default browser that lists details about the security vulnerability including affected software products, the impact if the vulnerability would be exploited and a link to additional information.
The scanner is not working perfectly all the time. It did for instance report a vulnerability in Open Office 3 that only affected Open Office 2.0 to 2.4. Kaspersky's application vulnerability analysis is nevertheless a step in the right direction. While the operating system itself is still a main target for attackers many tend to exploit security vulnerabilities in common applications (web browsers, email clients, office suites) as well. It is probably safe to assume that other companies will include a similar module in their applications in the future.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.