Like many who are responsible for curing the PCs of friends and family, I’ve been leaning on the 1-2 combo punch of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free) and SUPERAntiSpyware (also free) for the past year or so. Between the two of them — and judicious use of Safe Mode scanning — I’ve been able to cure most ailments that come my way.
[tip: did you know about the SUPERAntiSpyware portable version? I keep a copy on my utility USB stick updated every week or so. Handy!]
On a typical infection each will find things the other doesn’t so I don’t mind running both. Face it: the “good guys” in the fixing business are always behind the “bad guys” in the infecting business. I don’t really expect any one tool to do everything.
But I sure hate it when I still have an infected machine after repeated runs of both apps!
I now have one more tool to add to the mix: Microsoft’s System Sweeper. This is a beta product that I first learned about from the Security Now podcast (episode 303). There are downloads for 32 and 64 bit machines. Just download the proper one, run the installer and it will burn a CD image or create a bootable USB drive for you. Pop that into the infected machine and have it boot from the System Sweeper media.
When it runs you have something that looks a lot like Microsoft’s Security Essentials but it isn’t relying on the infected machine’s Operating System. Face it, Safe Mode is nice but sometimes it just isn’t good enough. Especially when you’re going after root kits! This fixes that problem and doesn’t rely on the victim’s operating system.
In the past month I’ve had System Sweeper finish the job on every machine I’ve tried it on. Brilliant little application and I now have a USB stick dedicated to it. Highly recommended.