We are on the final stretch of the race for the official release of Outpost Security Suite Pro. Here’s the penultimate step - the downloadable release candidate - which is as close to the final product as we will get before the actual ship date. It’s available for download at Agnitum's web-site.
First and foremost, thanks to our dedicated developers and volunteer beta-testers, we’ve fixed a number of bugs and made some further improvements to the software. Thanks, everyone!
What’s new in this build?
In addition to the bug fixes and small improvements, we’ve added more flexibility to the Suite controls. A couple of these caused some controversy amongst our testers:
1) ‘Are you guys planting rootkits on my PC?’ That’s what we heard from concerned users who scanned their hard drives for malware and found two strange-looking files: OP_CACHE.ATR and OP_CACHE.IDX. Anti-rootkit programs alerted on these files, which were hidden from directory listings but could be seen in a manual search. If someone really wanted to read the code, they wouldn’t find anything malicious – OP_CACHE.ATR and OP_CACHE.IDX are index files that help Outpost Security Suite store data about previous scans for every folder. This technique is used to cache antivirus and antispyware scan statuses for all files, increasing the overall scanning speed dramatically as unchanged files don’t need to be scanned again. If a file changes, or the malware signature database is updated, the cache is reset and the files will be rescanned next time.
If you don’t want to use this function, you can disable it; while we recommend leaving it active for performance reasons, it’s not required by the program and disabling it will not affect your protection.
2) In the beta version of Outpost Security Suite Pro, files were scanned “on execution” – i.e., when the execution procedure is started. The release candidate provides a second option: “on access attempt” scanning - in this case, any attempt to open a file will initiate a malware scan of that file as an additional layer of protection for really sneaky malware. The on-access attempt scanning adds a little performance overhead, so try it out and see whether the trade-off is worth it for you.
Of course, this version also underwent other minor changes, none of which affect the core functionality. We encourage you to try this latest pre-release build and let us know your opinions. There’s always room for more comments - positive and negative - we can always learn something from our users!
Chief Software Architect