Premium Malwarebytes adds heuristics to support Windows XP

Premium Malwarebytes adds heuristics to support Windows XP

Summary: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium has introduced heuristics-based detection designed to identify malicious software based on behavior instead of on virus signatures, and "will support XP users for life".

TOPICS: Software, Malware

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 Premium's dashboard. Photo: ZDNet screen grab.

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.

There is no enterprise version, but the Malwarebytes' Small Business Edition (for up to 49 users), and Enterprise versions already include a heuristic scanning engine.

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.

Malwarebytes Premium dashboard
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium dashboard. Photo: ZDNet screen grab.
Malwarebytes Premium running a scan. Photo: ZDNet screen grab.
Malwarebytes Premium settings
Rootkit scanning can be selected in Malwarebytes Premium's settings. Photo: ZDNet screen grab.

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Topics: Software, Malware

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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  • Still useless

    Had shortcut virus on a Windows XP computer and I still had to remove manually even though I had an updated copy of Malwarebytes installed, scanned in normal and safe mode.
    • Hmm

      Did you read the article, or know what the product does. It is not a replacement for your Virus scanner. I have used it, and own many copies, it is great for malware, never had an issue it could not find and cleanup. So I wonder since you state that you had the shortcut virus and this is not a virus scanner, who is the useless one?
      • Whats your problem?

        How much do you get paid from Malwarebytes to defend criticism? Sorry, but go eat horse...
        • MBAM is industry wide recognized...

          as the go to solution to work alongside your favorite anti-virus product. I am not a shill that works for MBAM. Nobody writes my paycheck but my walk in clients.

          If you were having virus problems, and did not want to pay for it, you should have tried Avast - another industry wide recognized solution, but made for viruses.

          In my opinion the list of paid for and free solutions that are work doing is pretty short. - YMMV

          Even the free version of MBAM is pretty good, but because XP is going to be so vulnerable, one will have to attempt as much as possible to nip any attacks in the bud; otherwise your XP installation is toast. Their are other pretty good anti-malware solutions that have passive or other real time protections - but with XP, a person is going to need a strong blended defense, and run as a limited rights user, or it will be over very soon!

          A good software firewall can't hurt either, like On Line Armor, or Comodo Firewall (free version), but if one is on XP - a hardware firewall is a must.
  • free upgrade

    you state.."People who already use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro get a free upgrade to the new version.". So, how does one get the free upgrade?

    • Try
      • upgrade it
  • False Security

    I generally have to use three or four anti-malware programs, besides my Anti-virus, because what one catches the other might miss. So, having to pay for a premium does not guarantee that it is doing a thorough job.

    And given that it does not protect against hacking intrusions, it does not solve the Win XP dilemma of not having full Microsoft support.

    The fact is, unless Microsoft step up to the plate and vet it, no third party app is going to be able to protect its security entirely. So why bother?
  • Heuristic analysis hanging forever

    I really don't care what great things MWB is supposed to be able to do, I am done with it because they cannot tell me how to fix the BIG problem with the heuristic analysis component hanging and hanging. Many people have commented on this on the Internet and fixes I've read are way too complicated for a non-techie like me. It drives me crazy when stuff like this happens because developers get so wrapped up in their worlds they forget who their customers are and we're expected to fix THEIR issues.