Windows Enterprise Desktop

Dec 14 2011   6:08PM GMT

PSI Flags Interesting Silverlight Issue

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

As anybody who reads this blog regularly knows, I use and endorse Secunia’s excellent Personal Software Inspector (PSI) software on my notebook and desktop PCs. This program takes a look at the OS, applications, and helper software components to check release versions and dates, then compares it to its voluminous database of current OS patches and fixes, application updates, and more, to determine what elements of a particular install are out-of-date and need to be made current. It’s a peachy program (a corporate version called CSI is also available for business and commercial use) and one that I  regard as essential in helping me keep my machines secure and up-to-date.

This morning, when I logged in I saw various security update bulletins that induced me to run the PSI scan on my primary desktop, it reported that my Microsoft Silverlight installation (and Google Chrome) needed updates. This struck me as odd because Patch Tuesday just hit yesterday, and I’d already updated that system. As it happens, Silverlight has just been updated to a new major version (5), but this update is not yet being distributed through Windows Update itself. Here’s what clued me into the situation:

Silverlight 4.x is now end-of-life (obsolete)

Silverlight 4.x is now end-of-life (obsolete)

It’s weird to find oneself in a situation where a piece of Microsoft software displays this kind of warning, even in the face of Windows Update. That’s how I figured out that Silverlight 5 hasn’t yet fallen under the WU umbrella (as also happens with OS Service Packs, which must be manually downloaded and installed until some time after their official release).

So now that I knew what I was dealing with, I jumped over the the Silverlight page at www.microsoft.com/silverlight, where I beheld the following welcome:

The Silverlight home page checks and reports on what version you have

The Silverlight home page checks and reports on what version you have

So indeed an upgrade was needed. And once it was applied no more warnings, and everything was once again up-to-date. This is just what PSI is designed to do, and this time it made me extremely happy for it it do it for me: otherwise, I might not have realized Silverlight needs a manual update until after some no-doubt heinous exploit had already been foisted!

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