Remember HiJackThis? The program was designed to scan a Windows PC thoroughly for any signs of malicious software, spyware, and other unwanted bits.
Trend Micro acquired the software program in 2007 and turned it into an open source program in 2012.
The last version of the application was released in 2013; it was a beta version and the project was abandoned shortly thereafter. HiJackThis is still downloaded more than 4000 times per week from Sourceforge alone and that is not counting other download repositories the program is offered on.
The lack of updates reduced the effectiveness of the program. Developer Polshyn Stanislav from the Ukraine created a fork of HiJackThis that brings the application to the modern age. The fork is compatible with all modern versions of the Windows operating system -- the last version of HiJackThis was published two years before the release of Windows 10 -- and introduces new functionality.
HiJackThis Fork is offered as a portable program for Windows; just download the latest version from the project's GitHub page and run it after the download completes. A test on the virus scanning site Virustotal returned zero hits.
You need to accept the terms on the first run. The main window displays all available options right away. You can change the interface language -- default is English -- and run a system scan with or without the generation of a log file on the local system.
New users may click on online guide to access a short English tutorial that explains some of the basics.
HiJackThis Fork analyzes different areas of the operating system and displays its findings in the program interface and if you selected the log option as a log file as well. The option to save a log is available on the scan results page as well.
HiJackThis Fork detects potential hijacking issues primarily. It is necessary to go through the list of items one by one to determine whether an item is dangerous or harmless.
The button "info on selected item" provides a basic explanation of the general nature of an item but it won't help you make a decision in regards to the malicious or problematic nature of the item.
The program does not rate items that it finds and removing any may have unforeseen consequences on system functionality or stability.
Check any items that you want removed and select "fix checked" to delete them on the system. Inexperienced users may select "analyze this" to find out how they can have someone else look at the results to provide advice.
HiJackThis Fork includes numerous improvements over its discontinued predecessor. The developer added detection support for new hijacking methods and new tools to the program's arsenal.
You may run tools to generate an extensive list of startup items, check the digital signature of files, unlock locked Registry keys, or check LNK elements.
HiJackThis is certainly not as important as the program was ten years ago but it is still a good tool to analyze certain areas of the operating system. The fork of the original application ensures that it can be run on modern versions of Windows and that items that the program detects are updated to reflect these changes as well.
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