Malware Remediation Comparison – Malwarebytes vs. Hitman Pro

Often, when I am dealing with a malware-infected computer, I find that the malware has compromised the currently installed anti-malware product, and simply scanning the computer with the installed software does not work.  When that happens, my go-to choice for malware remediation has been to download and install a copy of Malwarebytes, and run scans until the Malwarebytes reports the system is clean.

In the course of research for another article, I stumbled across a comparable tool from Sophos called Hitman Pro.  If you are a long time reader, you may have figured out that I am a big fan of Sophos and their Naked Security blog.  They were one of the first companies to develop effective software (Intercept X) to combat crypto-ransomware infections and prevent them from damaging stored data.  So I decided to give Hitman Pro a try.

I ran both Malwarebytes and Hitman Pro on an average system in a training lab.  The system was not actively infected, but Hitman Pro took 5 minutes and 41 seconds to complete the scan, and found 383 tracking cookies.  Malwarebytes ran the same scan in 4 minutes and 51 seconds, and did not report the tracking cookies.

Malwarebytes needs to be installed locally to run a scan.  It uses both malware definitions and heuristics (behavior) to detect and isolate threats.  Malwarebytes has a free version, and a premium version that costs $39.99 for a single device and $59.99 for up to 3 devices.

Hitman Pro can be installed locally or run from a portable USB.  There is a 30-day free trial period, but after that it will cost you 24.95 for Hitman Pro, or $34.95 for Hitman pro Alert.  Both provide advance malware and PUA/PUP (potentially unwanted applications or potentially unwanted programs) removal, and the more expensive Alert product also covers real-time protection, ransomware protection, advanced exploit protection, and privacy features.

I am looking forward to trying Hitman against an actively infected system, to see how it compares.  But it appears to be comparable to Malwarebytes, and is worth adding to your toolbox.



About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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