HijackThis is a free utility from Trend Micro, which heuristically scans your computer to find settings that may have been changed by homepage hijackers, spyware, other malware, or even unwanted programs.
This application has a well deserved reputation for being aggressive in tracking down unauthorized changes that have been made to your system/applications.
The program doesn’t target specific programs, but instead it analyses registry and file settings, and then targets the methods used by cyber-crooks. After you scan your computer, HijackThis creates a report, and a log file (if you choose to do so), with the results of the scan.
Because of the heuristic methods used by HijackThis, the results of the scan can be confusing/intimidating, to those who are not advanced users.
On the other hand, the strength of this program lies in the large community of users who participate in online forums, where experts (voluntarily and for free), will interpret HijackThis scan results for you, and then provide you with the information you need to clean any infection.
This screen capture shows a partial scan result on my test machine.
The latest version (2.0.4), adds potent tools to the Configuration window, including a process manager and hosts file editor, to help you remove dangerous infections, and an ADS Spy tool which scans alternate data streams which browser hijackers can, and will use, to evade antispyware applications.
The following screen capture shows a Configuration – Hosts File Manager request being implemented but, you’ll also notice one of my antimalware tools, ThreatFire, has prohibited hosts files from being opened as a safety precaution against a malware penetration.
This is one reason I so strongly recommend ThreatFire as supplementary malware protection. In this case, I allowed the process to continue.
Despite the fact that you may only need this small application infrequently, it deserves a place in your anti-malware toolbox.
System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Me, 98.
Note: The continued use of Windows 2000, Me, or 98, is not recommended.
Software requirements: Internet Explorer, Firefox.
Download at: Trend Micro
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