This week we are here to talk about Malwarebytes Anti-malware. I have been a Malwarebytes user for about 5 years. I first discovered it in a previous job while I was researching the best way to remove the infamous “anti-virus 2008” rootkit from infected machines. I had set up 3 machines in the workshop, then deliberately infected them with the malware in question and was running tests to see which piece of software would actually remove the infection. Many of the big names from Mcafee, Norton, Sophos and Safer Networking all failed to do the job.
So some reading later and I had found mention of a newish program that was commonly referred to as MBAM. The program itself is pretty simple and the free versions user interface centres around the “Scan” and “Update” tabs, but the Pro version a Tab to configure the on access scanner.
The scanner tab has 3 options, “Quick scan”, “Full Scan” and “Flash Scan”. Quick scan scans the system memory and system files and takes, depending on how fast your computer is, about 15 minutes. A full scan scans all the files on the drives you select, and on my system too just under 2 hours to complete and finally, flash scan scans just the systems RAM and for me took under 40 seconds.
The Pro version, as already mentioned, has a system tray applet that acts as an on-access scanner and also includes a webpage/IP blocker to protect you from malicious websites. I did find that it does detect some false positives and in trying to add these items to the ignore list, I found that it didn’t always do what it was supposed to.
Other tabs in the UI include “quarantine”, “logs”, “More Tools” and an ever necessary “Settings” tab. Most of the tabs are pretty self-explanatory, this includes the settings tab. It has options to configure the self-updater, internal task scheduler, and how the scanning process deals with discovered threats.
Overall, for me, Malwarebytes is the only solution for the vast majority of malware related problems but expressing it in a review is very difficult because Malwarebytes is so focused on the things you can’t see. Things that lie deep within its code but it does manage something amazing. It manages to be simple, easy to configure and use, lightweight and fast without compromising its core goals or distancing the user from having control over the program. Most software companies that try to achieve this normally end up sacrificing the user’s ability to finely control their software. It has been and will continue to be the program I recommend out of hand to anyone with a malware issue.