Trend Micro buys HijackThis, launches SiteAdvisor competitor

Trend Micro buys HijackThis, launches SiteAdvisor competitor

Summary: Trend Micro has acquired HijackThis, the freeware spyware-removal program created by Merijn Bellekom. Financial terms of the deal, believed to be all-cash, were not released.

TOPICS: Malware, Security
Trend Micro has acquired HijackThis, the freeware spyware-removal program created by Merijn Bellekom.

HijackThis Financial terms of the deal, believed to be all-cash, were not released. This is the second transaction between Trend Micro and Bellekmom, following the company's purchase of CWShredder, a standalone utility used to remove the virulent Cool Web Search spyware program.

HijackThis is the de-facto standard for spyware removal from Windows systems. The tool generates a plaintext logfile detailing all entries -- registry and file settings -- it finds and offers tech-savvy users the ability to remove or disable files associated with malware.

TrendProtectHijackThis, which will remain free under the Trend Micro brand, does not rely on a database of known spyware. Instead, it take a crossview approach to finding spyware on Windows boxes -- scanning a machine and creating a list of differences from a known spyware-free environment.

A new version of the HijackThis is now available for download (Windows XP and Windows 2000 only) at TrendSecure, the anti-virus vendor's new consumer-facing security portal.

The new HijackThis 2.0 beta version works with Microsoft Vista and Internet Explorer 7. It has been fitted with an "AnalyzeThis" function that allows users to see how prevalent the threats detected on their computers are when compared to other HijackThis users.

TrendMicro also announced plans to launch a Web site security ratings rival to McAfee's SiteAdvisor. The new service, called TrendProtect, combines web site reputation monitoring and URL filtering for consumers.

Like SiteAdvisor, TrendProtect is a browser plug-in that adds visual warnings to sites linked from search engines. It is compatible with IE and Firefox and currently supports the Google, MSN and Yahoo search engines.

The market for Web site ratings has become rather crowded since McAfee bought SiteAdvisor last April.

Roger Thompson's Exploit Prevention Labs is also in the race with its highly rated LinkScanner, a safety ratings service that also features technology to block zero-day malware attacks.

Symantec is now the only big anti-virus player without a Web ratings service. A buyout of Exploit Prevention Labs is not such a crazy idea.

Topics: Malware, Security

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  • File downloads infected

    That's interesting. According to McAfee both the Zip and Executable versions of the new version 2 of the HiJackThis_v2 file are infected with the W32/Generic.worm!p2p virus; sub type: Internet worm. That's not a very good start for Trend Micro taking over what was a very useful program.
    • I got no infection

      I got no such infection with Nod32. Perhaps it is your machine.
      Or the cynic in me says you work for McAfee. I wonder which though?
      • Well I still get a Virus warning

        No, I don't work for McAfee but I am running McAfee Antivirus and my machine is clean. If I bypass McAfee's warning that it was infected with a virus but could not be cleaned and download the HiJackThis_v2 zip file it will automatically delete it when I try to extract it's contents. I was able to also bypass McAfee's warning and download the HiJackThis_v2 executable. I then scanned the individual file with McAfee and it said it was clean. But when I try to run the executable I get the following error message: "HiJackThis_v2.exe is not a valid Win32 application." When I look at the file size it's showing up as 0 KB when it should be 1,308 KB so I guess McAfee deleted the Virus anyway even though I didn't want it to. So even if I want to try & run the new versions I can't without totally disabling my virus scanner.
  • How about Update?

    How come the old HiJackThis v1.99.1 doesn't tell user's that there's a newer version avaliable, i.e. v2, when you use the Check for Update Button?
    • Because Trend now owns and supports the program, not the author.

      And of course, it's not possible for Trend to retroactively fix all the previous versions to point to their site.