HitmanPro is a commercial security solution for Windows that has been designed as a second line of defense against malware and other threats.
There are different types of security programs that you can run on your Windows PC. Firewalls and resident antivirus solutions usually make up the first line of defense and while they are great at blocking the majority of threats before they can have an impact on the system, they are not perfect.
Even a 99.9% detection rate means that 0.1% of all malware slips passed the defenses, and that's where your second line of defense comes into play.
One of the programs that you can use for that is HitmanPro. What makes HitmanPro special is that it combines the malware engines of several security companies.
The current version includes the engines of Dr.Web, Ikarus, G Data, Emsisoft and Bitdefender which improves the program's detection rate significantly in comparison to single-engine solutions.
In addition, it does not rely solely on virus signatures but uses forensic methods to find files on the system that act and behave like malware.
You can download a fully working 30-day trial version for 32-bit or 64-bit systems from the Surfright website. Just run the program on your system after the download has finished to use it as it requires no installation. You should see the main start screen afterwards (note that it may look different depending on version and date you run it).
Click on Settings and there on the license tab to activate your free license. You need to enter an email address for that though. If you don't activate, the removal of malware is disabled.
To scan the system click on the next button on the frontpage. If you click on the small arrow next to it, you can instead run a quick scan of the system or display early warning scores instead if you enable the expert option under settings first.
Especially the latter option is a powerful feature of the program as it looks beyond signatures and checksums to analyze other program data such as the time it appeared on the system and its behavior.
The program will ask you whether you want to install it on the system or use it for a one-time scan only before the scan proceeds.
The program displays its findings after the scan in a results listing. Here you find the name of the file, its path, and classification listed. You also find the recommended action on the right which you can change, for instance from quarantine to delete or ignore, and also click on the show information link to find out more about the program or open its location on the local system.
The border around the interface changes its color based on the threats found. Red signals that at least one serious threat has been found by the scan, while blue indicates that no threats have bee found.
You can also access additional information by selecting an item in the listing. The winsrv.dll description for instance informed me that the file was only recently added to the computer and that it starts automatically with it. A click on next performs the selected actions.
A lot is going on behind the scene when you scan a Windows computer with HitmanPro. Recent versions of the application detect all kinds of threats, including those that are annoying but usually not dangerous. This includes tracking cookies and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
Before you scan you may want to check the program options as they provide you with settings that change scans and other parts of the program.
The program will for instance upload suspicious files automatically to the scan cloud to test it on the Internet which you may not want the program to do automatically. As far as scans go, you can schedule regular scans here and define in detail what you want scanned and when you want the scans to be run. Scans can also be automatically prevented when a full screen application is running to prevent slow downs or other side effects.
If you do have a Virustotal API key you can enter it in the options as well to include options to scan files with the cloud scanner as well into HitmanPro.
A standard scan takes less than 2 minutes to complete which is really fast for a software of its kind. You find a couple of other interesting options built-into the program.
You can for instance integrate a scan option into Windows Explorer, or use the recently released HitmanPro.Kickstart which we reviewed about a week ago.
I suggest you check out our initial review of the feature for all the details. Only that much, you can use it as a means of recovery against ransomware attacks on your system that prevent you from accessing it until you "pay ransom". The program has been designed to restore system access by bypassing the ransomware's modifications made to the system.
Another program that you may want to check out is HitmanPro.Alert from Surfright. It is a free program if you have a HitmanPro license that has been designed to protect Windows PCs against exploits.
HitmanPro 3.7 is an excellent second opinion scanner for your computer system thanks to the integration of several anti-malware engines and cloud scanning technologies. The added Kickstarter option is a bonus that may come in handy when it is needed. Keep in mind that you can't use Kickstarter if you are using full disk encryption to protect your systems.
The trial version is good for 30 days of scanning which may be interesting for you even if you do not plan on buying the program. The scan results may change your mind though. It is recommended to verify the findings of the program, for instance over on Virustotal before you make drastic changes to your system. But that recommendation is true for all security programs.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.