Three cheers for Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

I spoke the other night at the monthly meeting of the New York Personal Computer User Group, where a handful of presenters each discussed security software. One product that I recommended was Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.  


My faith in the product came from an incident with an infected Windows PC. The machine, used by a 13 year old, would display a number at the top of each Google search page in both IE and Firefox.

A review of the list of auto-started programs turned up svchost.exe, which doesn't belong there. The real svchost.exe is part of the operating system, resides in the C:\WINDOWS\system32 folder, does not appear in any list of auto-started programs and the properties of the file identify it as Generic Host Process for Win32 Services. The file being auto-started resided in the C:\WINDOWS folder and did not identify itself at all (there was no Version tab in the properties of the file). Clearly it was malware.

To see just what it was, I sent the phony svchost.exe to VirusTotal, a great website that scans uploaded files with over 30 anti-virus programs. Amazingly it got a clean bill of health. That's when I installed Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (MBAM) which detected the file for the malicious software it was.

After telling this story at the meeting, the person who had spoken before me, added that she too was once dealing with an infected computer that resisted the cleanup efforts of a number of antivirus and antispwyare programs. In her case too, MBAM came to the rescue.

Then, the person who spoke after me told of two cases where MBAM had cleaned up infected machines after other software failed to do so. Neither of the other speakers had planned to discuss MBAM.

This is just what a computer user group is supposed to do and, thanks to this blog, it just did it on a larger scale.

There are two versions of MBAM. The free version scans only on demand and cleans up already infected machines. The commercial version runs in the background and prevents infections. When you buy Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware you get a lifetime license. Most other security software is rented rather than purchased and has to be renewed yearly. MBAM runs on Windows XP,  Vista (32-bit only) and Windows 2000.

I mentioned MBAM last month in a posting about removing malware from an infected PC. The product description from Malwarebytes is not as complete as it could be, so see that posting for some additional information about the software. 

I have no affiliation with Malwarebytes and neither do the other NYPC presenters.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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