Malwarebytes' acquisition of Windows Firewall Control maker Binisoft

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 9, 2018

Security firm Malwarebytes announced last month on May 24, 2018, that it acquired the privately held Romanian company Binisoft, best know for its Windows Firewall Control security product.

Windows Firewall Control is a standalone security product for supported versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system that adds better Windows Firewall management capabilities to the operating system.

Check out our Windows Firewall Control Tips guide to find out more about the program's advanced features.

As a user of Windows Firewall Control, I'm interested in Malwarebytes' plans going forward: will Windows Firewall Control remain available as a standalone product? Will it be integrated in products by Malwarebytes?

The official press release on the Malwarebytes website provides some but not all of the answers. The company notes in the press release that the solution will be integrated into the Malwarebytes platform and company products.

Binisoft Windows Firewall Control will quickly integrate into the Malwarebytes platform, which simplifies the deployment and ongoing management of security solutions. Administrators benefit from broader visibility into endpoints existing within their environment.

The company’s Windows Firewall Control is widely used by millions of users and will significantly enhance the Malwarebytes endpoint protection platform.

Malwarebytes reaffirms users of Windows Firewall Control that the company that created the program will retain its name but will get Malwarebytes branding to reflect the change in ownership.

For the near term, Binisoft will retain its current name, supplemented by Malwarebytes branding. Malwarebytes is committed to maintaining the mission of the Binisoft products and its features.

binisoft windows firewall control malwarebytes

The Binisoft website offers additional details. Malwarebytes reveals that it plans to integrate the product into its products, and that it plans to support and keep Binisoft products "free for everyone in the short term".

We at Malwarebytes are big fans too. That’s why we’ve asked Binisoft founder Alexandru Dicu to join our team. Moving forward, we will be integrating the Binisoft Windows Firewall Control technology into our cybersecurity products. This key integration will enable Malwarebytes to deliver more flexible and robust cybersecurity to you or your business. And not to worry—we will maintain, support, and keep Binisoft products free for everyone in the short term.

Closing words

Nothing will change in the near future. Existing users of Windows Firewall Control can use it like they have before. Malwarebytes will integrate the solution in its security products but fails to mention if the functionality will be offered to Enterprise or business customers exclusively, or it the firewall control options will land in consumer products such as Malwarebytes as well.

It is unclear at this point if Windows Firewall Control will cease to exist as a standalone product, or if Malwarebytes will continue to offer it as part of the company's portfolio. Also unclear is how Malwarebytes plans to handle Pro customers.

It would be unfortunate in my opinion if Windows Firewall Control would be retired by the company.

Malwarebytes made two other acquisitions of note in the past two years. It acquired Junkware Removal Tool back in 2015 and AdwCleaner in 2016. The company since then has discontinued the Junkware Removal Tool, two years after its acquisition.

Now You: What is your take on the acquisition?

Malwarebytes' acquisition of Windows Firewall Control maker Binisoft
Article Name
Malwarebytes' acquisition of Windows Firewall Control maker Binisoft
Security firm Malwarebytes announced last month on May 24, 2018, that it acquired the privately held Romanian company Binisoft, best know for its Windows Firewall Control security product.
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  1. Ali said on December 20, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    In short term this was good
    because they made whole program completely free (even its notifications option) and that is a great thing for me that live in a low currency country and now i use it and enjoy its learning mode but in the future this will be fearsome

    Malwarebytes is not the old malwarebytes
    the version 3 of it is really bloated

    also i don’t think they continue the WFC so that will be disappointing

    but i hope it go to a good future
    may be they keep the software
    or may be at least WFC become so much good that won’t get a heavy problem/bug and we at least use the last version of it for some good amount of years (if we be alive of course!)

  2. Frank Fermier said on August 3, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Yes, I agree with Mister Duncan. I don’t care how much it costs, am going to hire the best lawyer in town, Roy Cohn perhaps, or Clarence Darrow. How dare anybody take away the ten dollars I paid for a licence. I also am retired and with plenty of time on my hands, and so will make this a project for all eternity here after, and may be even longer that that. Citizens everywhere should revolt! against such an abrogation of their firewall rights. Are you with me? To the barricades!

  3. David Duncan said on July 1, 2018 at 12:39 am

    I purchased full version WFC now I’m (all of us) fucked because Mbytes will want me to buy their product now which they will integrate with WFC. That’s called getting a good fucking. I want my damn money back from MBytes. I will contact an appropriate attorney. I’m retired and have plenty money and time. They need to leave the program like it is for the people who have already bought it and keep it updated now that they own it. Maybe a good class action law suite in the US of A.

  4. hammer time! said on June 12, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Dad….. I mean Billy Gates, is that you?

    (Their spies are everywhere ^_^ and nowhere.)

    Put a little effort into your reply next time. I mean, even the copy/pastas can do it.

  5. What was all that one in a million talk? said on June 11, 2018 at 3:50 am


    “I’ve been on the pro version for some time now. I’m waiting to see if MWB is going to honor my current lifetime license or screw me over.”

    You should switch to Linux. I wouldn’t give a bucket of piss for any type of proprietary software for Windows, or Windows itself for that matter.

    “it’s about the lifetime of the product, not your own lifetime as a human being. If the product changes hands, name, form etc. you can’t complain.”

    Oh there’s much to complain about in the world of M$/Apple, but that’s another post. Paying for and using proprietary software is just stupid.

    See, that’s the beauty of FOSS. You and/or others can pick up where the author(s) left off should they abandon the project. Whereas with most proprietary programs for Windows if a program is left to wither and die, acquired by another company and changed in various ways or quickly shuffled off to nowhere-land, you’re hosed. I’ve watched it happen over and over again.

    People would line up for me to work on their Windows boxes but I say no more. The problems stop when I install Linux for them and I never hear a peep. But go on, continue to PAY for proprietary software. Allow black box software access to your black box Operating System. Use one, use many, use them all, and you can scan scan scan and still have infections. The APT threats to firmware are becoming more and more frequent. Don’t forget M$ has root on your systems. Don’t forget your machines are uniquely ID and can possibly receive personalized software in the name of updates or whatever else.

    No, it just DOES NOT PAY to use proprietary software.

    1. Darren said on June 11, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Don’t want to / can’t switch to Linux is usually the case. For 9 out of 10 people, switching to Linux isn’t the answer.

  6. Dave said on June 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    @city_zen I’ve been on the pro version for some time now. I’m waiting to see if MWB is going to honor my current lifetime license or screw me over. I excpect the latter :(

    1. George said on June 10, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      @Dave, it’s about the lifetime of the product, not your own lifetime as a human being. If the product changes hands, name, form etc. you can’t complain.

  7. Flyer said on June 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Common guys, this software has been bought because MB needs firewall technologies in their products. They haven’t spent money to leave everything as it is now. Nothing more and nothing less.
    Words “short terms” means in the plain english: we are not ready yet to do it just now, but in the future it will be done.
    So to keep things short, standalone product as it is now in the nearest future will be a history.

    And few words about this program. It is very nice piece of software. Small, easy, no resources hog, etc. But what I’m just gonna remind you, it is a software which only control MS fw engine. And as we all know, MS has a power to control everything in systems, includng settings own rules in this engine in the hidden way. So for typical user it could be a nice solution but for people who seriously care of their privacy, it can’t be a trusted solution.
    Just my two cents.

  8. Anonymous said on June 10, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Avast > Crap Cleaner
    Malwarebytes > Crap Control

    1. T J said on June 10, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      @ Anonymous

      Avast > Crap Cleaner

      Malwarebytes > Crap Control

      Anonymous > Crap Comment

  9. AAA said on June 10, 2018 at 4:43 am

    @JSB you’re so funny, darling!

  10. AAA said on June 10, 2018 at 4:41 am

    Noooooooo! Why didn’t I die before hearing this news… why didn’t the Earth explode before I read this news! :(

    RiP WFC!

  11. dw4rf_t0ssn said on June 10, 2018 at 4:29 am

    Hey guys, I emailed binisoft and got a prompt reply back from Alexandru. He assures me that not only will WFC remain a standalone product, but that he will insist that activations be allowed without the use of keygens or workarounds (the aforementioned “hoops”).

    He linked me the following (sorry if faux-paus to link these, feel free to edit out, Martin, but I think you’ll wanna see this too):

    He seems like a conscientious dude.

  12. Darren said on June 10, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Awwwww. Crud.

  13. Chris said on June 9, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Like others have commented, I hope they keep it light and separate. It’s perfect how it is, and will suffer from even an ounce of bloat.

  14. JSB said on June 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Meh. So, Malwarebytes continues to acquire companies and utilities so it can continue packing its once lean, mean, bug free product with as much bloat as it can? Typical.

    Any day now they’ll be changing their name to something like “Malwarebytes 360,” “Malwarebytes Total Security Suite,” or something similar. They’ll have an option for everything, including a button to make your toast in the morning.

    But your computer WILL be totally protected against everything. Why? Because Malwarebytes will cause it to run so slowly/erratically that you’ll throw it into a closet.

    No way a virus is going to get at it in there!

    1. [email protected] said on June 10, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      @JSB Lol, well said.

    2. Gary D said on June 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      @ JSB

      “But your computer WILL be totally protected against everything. Why? Because Malwarebytes will cause it to run so slowly/erratically that you’ll throw it into a closet.”.

      I use MBAM. You do not know what you are talking about. I doubt that you actually use MBAM. The latest MBAM has a much smaller footprint and uses around 200 MB of memory (Task Manager). When scanning, MBAM uses 2 – 3 % of the CPU. There is no “slow/erratic” problem at all !
      Buy new hardware instead of blaming apps. Then you can throw your old computer into the closet.

  15. dw4rf_t0ssn said on June 9, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    I use it too, have for years now; it’s just the best because it behaves a lot like the old Zonealarm did and gives a nice popup with a chime when something is requesting outbound access. Paying ten bucks was a no-brainer for such a great, lightweight software.

    My gut reaction to the news is: “oh boy, now I’ll have to install some bloatware monstrosity in a few months, then be forced to ditch it like I did Zonealarm, and for the same feature-creep reasons”. I hope they keep this light and separate, but am less than convinced that will be the case.

    If I absolutely have to, I’m prepared to backup the activation (reg keys, whatever else) so that I can continue to use this even a year from now if I format C (which I will, likely). Since it is a glorified frontend for Windows Firewall it should be alright without being updated, I would think.

    Guess we’re gonna find out, but past experiences have me a bit apprehensive on this score. At the *very least* I would hope they’d allow me to activate an old version without any BS or jumping through hoops.

  16. city_zen said on June 9, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    I discovered Binisoft’s Windows Firewall Control a while ago, and I really liked it. What I liked the most about it is that it displayed popups for new or suspicious connections with FULL details (IPs, ports, etc.)
    I even decided to make the required donation to be able to get the “pro” version which included those popup warnings. Unfortunately, when I attempted to do so, last month, I was greeted with a notice stating that donations for the “pro” version had been discontinued due to the company (Binisoft) being acquired by another company
    I fear for the future of the product. It’s unlikely that MalwareBytes will keep it free, or even independent. It will probably bundle it with the main MalwareBytes product, and only in the most expensive versions. It would be a sad end to a good piece of software
    In the last few years, it looks like MalwareBytes is going full “Nero Burning ROM” :/
    Maybe time to look elsewhere …

  17. Franck said on June 9, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    A great open source alternative :

    1. dw4rf_t0ssn said on June 9, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      I do appreciate your post, but it says “without annoying popups”. To be honest, the main reason I use WFC is for the popups…

      1. NoPopUp said on June 10, 2018 at 2:59 am

        What “popups”? It only alerts you to a new connection so you can “teach” it to block/allow.

      2. Ummyespopups said on June 12, 2018 at 11:10 pm

        Uhhhhh, the popups in WFC that say to allow/disallow a connection. Those are pretty clearly popups. They…pop up out of nowhere and ask to allow or disallow. The alternative given above says it doesn’t do that, which kinda disqualifies it for me personally. YMMV

  18. Dave said on June 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve been using WFC for some time now. My primary reason is it’s abiltity to stop people who’ve made a deal with M$ from being allowed to make automatic allow rules that I have no control over.

    Steam for example. Block any of it’s 5 components manually with windows firewall and a new rule allowing it will be automtically made next time it wants to connect, without any interaction with, or notification to, the user.

    The built in windows firewall is IMO, the best out there. There’s no reason to use anything else once you gain full control of it with WFC.

    I’m not happy that MWB, who seems to be able to turn anything to shit with a single touch, has aquired WFC. I immediatly disabled the “check for updates” upon hearing the news.

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