HijackThis back in the days was a sophisticated tool to scan a Windows system for traces of malicious software. Unlike conventional antivirus software which relied on signature databases and heuristics to identify malware, HijackThis concentrated on listing items in known malware locations. Included here were the computer's startup locations and important Registry keys, which were all listed after a short scan in the program interface.
The program displayed all entries it found in those locations, which meant that only experienced computer users could interpret the data without outside help. Inexperienced users had other options, from searching for a specific entry on the Internet, to posting the log on support forums or loading the log file in a program that would analyze the entries automatically.
HiJack This logs are still requested regularly on tech support forums when users are posting about malware related problems on their computer systems.
Security company Trend Micro purchased the program from the original author Merijn Bellekom back in 2007. The program by then had been downloaded by more than 10 million users which made it one of the most popular free security programs of its time.
A few days ago Trend Micro announced that they have released the source code of the latest version of HiJack This to the project hosting site Sourceforge.net. The main idea behind the move, besides public relation bonus points, is to get a community involved with the future development of the program.
Trend Micro, according to the press release that was posted on the official company website, will maintain the original source code on the Sourceforge. The company announced plans to "update the base code on SourceForge as developers make modifications" that improve the functionality or quality of the application.
Interested users can download the latest binary version of HiJack This from Sourceforge.
The Open Source release could fuel further development, which has slowed down in recent years.