Is it safe to use unsupported software?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Saint Satin Stain, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. Saint Satin Stain

    Saint Satin Stain Registered Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    Huntsville, AL and Greenwich Village, NYC
    The Diamond CS forum is closed and though I have a specific question about Port Explorer, it has larger principle involved.

    Port Explorer is apparently not being updated, except once, the new port and domain databases, but this is probably automatic. The program itself does not appear to be maintained and updated, so any exploits in it are not corrected.
    The specific question: is it safe to continue using Port Explorer? I have a license and I like it, but not if it opens my system to danger.

    The general principle: is it safe to use unsupported programs, ones not updated to correct defects in them?

    I know that there are some simple apps, like script blockers, which have a limited range to protect, which may not need to be updated, except maybe gui changes for aesthetic reasons.
  2. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    This depends on many factors.
    If an unsupported app has unpatched vulnerabilities, it's not safe. If the app was a finished product that works as claimed, support isn't needed. If the app was replaced by a newer version with more features, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the old version. Kerio 2.1.5 and Proxomitron are good examples of security apps that aren't supported anymore, but are just as effective now as they were when they were new.

    When that question is asked about a specific app, it helps to ask why the app is unsupported. With many companies, it's nothing more than planned obsolescense. Microsoft and different versions of windows are a good example. Support gets dropped for the older system in order to coerce people into parting with money for the new ones. You can also find examples of good quality apps becoming unsupported because the vendor went out of business. The app is still good but the vendor is gone. Proxomitron is an example of a good app that isn't being updated because its developer died.

    There's no general answer to your question. The answer will change for each app being discussed. I use several unsupported apps. In my opinion, some of them are still the best apps of their kind.
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