This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Malwarebytes. All opinions are 100% mine.
In a recent video, Chris Pirillo brings up some good points about Malwarebytes. I have written several recent posts about how my clients and I use security software (For Computer Security, Can Malwarebytes Do the Job?, More Malwarebytes: Prevention or Detection?, and Chris Pirillo Talks to Doug Swanson of Malwarebytes — this last one contains a video interview). These previous pieces emphasize the effectiveness of using either the free Malwarebytes in conjunction with Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) or the paid version by itself (or with MSE, etc.). Although I did write a bit about the Chameleon utility, which is a nifty way to incorporate the function once occupied by the good old standby, RKill, I did not mention some of the other valuable utilities that can be downloaded from Malwarebytes for free.
That omission was deliberate in the sense that those pieces concentrated on preventing and curing malware infections. For that, the combination of Chameleon with Malwarebytes is superb and much more convenient to use than manually running RKill in its various disguises before running a Malwarebytes scan. The free version is obviously a bargain, but the paid version is well worth the money for the additional features.
In the short video, Chris refers to several other available functions. One of my favorites is RegASSASSIN. If you are like me, you do not lightly go into, or mess around with, the registry. I have tried various optimizers and registry fixers, and generally been underwhelmed. Some are downright dangerous. Even the ones that work right only make slight improvements to performance. So I tend to be wary of anything with registry in its name, regardless of its function. But this little puppy does exactly what the blurb says it will do. “RegASSASSIN removes malware-placed registry keys in two simple steps — just reset permissions and delete! This powerful and portable [emphasis added, SED] application makes hard-to-remove registry keys a thing of the past.”
I emphasized the portability aspect because that can make this utility a nice tool for working on clients’ computers. You would be surprised at the goodies I have on a flash drive. Having the right tool that you can plug into a USB port and solve a client’s issue quickly is a good way to make yourself look a lot smarter than you are. On rare days, I have actually been given a tip for good performance! With luck, RegASSASSIN will contribute to some future client’s happiness.
And, as any good registry tool should, it comes with a disclaimer:
Warning: Please use with caution as deleting critical registry keys may cause system errors.
Occasionally I have tried to delete a file in Windows Explorer and been told that was impossible because the file was open somewhere else. That’s nice, but if I have decided to delete something, most likely I do not care if it is open somewhere, particularly when I have no idea of what has opened it. The key is that I really want to delete the file and don’t want to mess around chasing ghosts. FileASSASSIN solves that little problem. And here is the nice part: unlike RegASSASSIN, which might be used often enough to justify buying it (if it was not free), FileASSASSIN solves problems that come up so rarely that you probably would not use it if you had to pay for it. It is like one of the tools that makes my toolbox heavy to carry around. I have specialty pliers, vise grips, special screwdrivers, tools to remove chips, and other things that I rarely use, but when I need them, they’re good to have. FileASSASSIN fits in that class.
The whole list of free Malwarebytes tools is available here. Check it out. You will not be disappointed.
In some follow-on posts, I intend to explore which applications have vulnerabilities and how serious they are. Fighting malware is more than just having good detection and elimination software installed. Another tool we can utilize to maintain security is to understand which applications are more likely to be a vector for incoming bad guys. You might be surprised at who has severe vulnerabilities.