Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is without doubt one of the most popular and efficient tools when it come to protecting Windows PCs from malware and other malicious code. The free version of the product is limited in some regards, it does not protect the system in real-time for instance or offer heuristic protection. Still, I find it reassuring to have the program installed to run a scan of the system from time to time to make sure nothing slipped by the resident protection.
The company behind the program has just released a first beta of Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit, a standalone product that has been designed for the detection and removal of the "nastiest malicious rootkits" as the developers put it. Before we look at the program itself, we should discuss how it is different from Anti-Malware which can also remove rootkits from a system.
The main difference is that Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit removes different types of rootkits that Anti-Malware does not touch. In this regard, it is more comprehensive than the established product.
Anti-Rootkit is a portable application that you can execute from any location which makes it ideal as part of a repair and troubleshooting tools collection. The program triggers an UAC prompt on execution which you need to accept. The disclaimer display information about the beta, including that the copy of the product will expire on December 10, 2012 automatically.
It is not clear what will happen on that day. Will there be a free version just like the Anti-Malware that is offering a reduced functionality? Or will this be a commercial product only?
A click on next opens the update dialog to download the latest database information from the Malwarebytes server. The scan itself may take some time, depending on the number of files, hard drives and the size of the drives. By default, drivers, sectors and system will be scanned which you can change on the scan configuration page.
If rootkits are detected a cleanup is proposed, if not, the message that nothing was found during the scan is displaeyed instead. The program saves a system and scan log to its root directory so that the logs remain accessible after the program has been closed.
The program ran fine on a 64-bit Windows 7 Professional system. No information about operating system compatibility or dependencies are available at this point in time.