Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium, announced today (Monday), has introduced heuristics-based detection designed to identify malicious software based on its behaviour instead of on virus signatures. This could be attractive to Windows XP users who plan to use the operating system after Microsoft withdraws support on April 8.
The company says XP users make up 20 percent of Malwarebytes’ user-base, and that "Premium will support XP users for life".
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium (MAMP) is the first new version for six years, and includes new anti-rootkit technology. It also includes Chameleon, which allows it to "brute force start-up and scan when malware is crippling traditional security software and other processes", and URL-checking, to identify malicious websites. It continues to detect and remove PUPs or Potentially Unwanted Programs that may be bundled with downloads or installed surreptitiously, but are technically not malware.
MAMP is designed to supplement not to replace existing anti-virus products, and this is reflected in its low price: an annual subscription of $24.95 provides coverage for up to three PCs. People who already use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro get a free upgrade to the new version.
The Premium version 2.00 of Malwarebytes runs all the time — I tried the trial version alongside Microsoft Security Essentials without any problems — and has replaced the old tabbed interface with a dashboard design for ease of use. Most ordinary users probably won't need to change the settings. However, rootkit scanning is not turned on by default, and it's worth keeping an eye on the Web Exclusions section. New users may add websites to this "should not be blocked" list under the impression that they are blocking them.
MAMP does not replace the well known original, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM), which will continue to be available as a free clean-up tool. It does not provide comprehensive anti-virus protection, but it does tend to find and remove malware that traditional products can miss.