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Security Fix Pop Quiz, Spring 2008 Edition

Have you been keeping up to date with the latest security patches? Examine the list below to see how you've done. If you're not sure which version of a program you're running, you can usually tell by selecting "Help" and then "About [software name]" from the program menu.

Adobe Flash, version, released April 8.

Adobe Reader, version 8.1.2, released Feb. 7.

Apple/Mac OS X, Security Update 2008-002, released March 18.

Microsoft Windows: April Patches

Mozilla Firefox, version, released March 25.

Opera, version 9.27, released April 3.

QuickTime, version 7.4.5, released April 2.

Skype, version, released February 5.

Sun Java JRE, Version 6 Update 5, released March 4.

VideoLAN VLC Player (free alternative to RealPlayer), version 0.8.6, released April 2.

Winamp, version 5.53, released Feb. 14.

WinRAR (file zip/unzip shareware utility), version 3.71, released Nov. 2007

Alternatively, you could head over Secunia's site and scan your system with the Software Inspector application, a free online tool that will tell you which programs are outdated and need to be updated (Software Inspector requires Sun's Java to be installed). Secunia also offers an installable version of Software Inspector, which can run in the background and periodically alert you when new security updates are available for commonly-used programs. The nice thing about the installable version is that it includes direct-download links to the latest, secured version of any software it finds that is outdated on your machine: you don't even need to have a browser Window open to grab the latest updates.

Among the most common comments I receive from readers I've referred to the Secunia scanner is that the scan found multiple older versions of Flash and Java installed on their system. As Security Fix has noted in many a post on Java updates, Sun's updates do not uninstall older versions. Luckily, older versions of Java should be listed in the Add/Remove Programs list, and users should be remove any older versions after the newest version is installed.

With Flash, things often aren't as tidy, and many users find their system littered with old versions of Flash. I usually advise people in this situation to grab a copy of Adobe's Flash uninstaller and remove existing versions of Flash, then re-install the latest version of the Flash Player. Bear in mind that Windows users who use multiple browsers will need to install two different versions of Flash -- one that works only on Internet Explorer and another designed for Mozilla (Firefox) and Opera browsers (see my blog post from Friday on this for more details).

By Brian Krebs  |  April 14, 2008; 10:07 AM ET
Categories:  From the Bunker , New Patches , Safety Tips  
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Next: Online Security: A Closer Look at a Negative Example

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