HitmanPro 3 is a popular and powerful second opinion malware scanner that can work side by side with your real time antivirus software without causing any conflicts. Unlike a traditional antivirus that relies heavily on signatures to detect malware, HitmanPro 3 scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If a file has the characteristics of malware, HitmanPro uploads it to their servers to have the file scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30 day trial to enable the clean up. As you can see, it is a no-brainer to use HitmanPro 3 as a second opinion scanner.
Other than that, HitmanPro 3 does not slow down the computer because the single executable file allows you to run it as an independent portable program for a one time on demand scan or you can opt to install it on the system and a quick scan will be automatically scheduled to run during Windows startup. The highlight of HitmanPro is actually in detecting and cleaning up highly advanced malware such as a rootkit that is created to hide deep in the operating system and sometimes even an antivirus fails to detect its presence. Here is a simple test to show that HitmanPro is able to detect and remove a keylogger that uses rootkit technology.
During the installation of the keylogger, the setup program shows the 2 files that will be hidden in the System32 folder and the request to whitelist the files from your antivirus for a successful installation.
After a reboot to complete the installation of the keylogger, we ran a default scan with HitmanPro and the 2 files belonging to the keylogging program are detected.
Double clicking on an item in HitmanPro reveals more detailed information of the file such as the score to determine the threat severity and forensic cluster that shows the related files to the malware before and after it is ran.
HitmanPro will automatically decide if the file should be quarantined or removed. Normally if both antivirus from the cloud detects the file as infected, then the file is considered a confirmed threat and should be removed. However if only one of the antivirus detects it as a threat, then the file will be quarantined to allow the possibility of restoring the file back.
A reboot may be required to completely remove or quarantine the infected file because a highly advanced piece of malware is difficult to remove when it is actively running in Windows.
Most of the default settings in the Settings area are optimal and don’t need to change. Most likely the only option that you want to disable is the automatic uploading of known suspicious files to the scan cloud if you have a limited or very slow internet connection. You can also configure the scheduled scan to run daily, on specific days or on startup. A shell integration option is also useful to conveniently scan individual files or folders through right click.
HitmanPro not only detects unknown malware, it can also save your computer when certain types of malicious software such as ransomware have taken over your computer not allowing you to boot in until a payment has been transferred to the attacker. What you can do is create a bootable HitmanPro.Kickstart USB flash drive by clicking on the small icon located beside the Settings button, plug in your USB flash drive and HitmanPro.Kickstart will be installed to the device.
You can then boot up the computer using the USB flash drive created with HitmanPro and a menu will appear. Unless the system is running Windows XP, you should always choose the first option “Bypass Master Boot Record” and only try the 2nd option if the first option fails.
Important Note: HitmanPro will work best if the computer has an Internet connection. If not, a different scanning mode called “Early Warning Scoring” will have to be used to scan the computer. This option can be enabled from Settings > Advanced > tick the “I am an expert, show Early Warning Scoring (EWS) in the drop down for the Next button”. To start scanning, go back to the main program screen, click the drop down button beside the Next button and select “Early Warning Scoring (EWS)”.
There are 2 versions of HitmanPro which are 32-bit and 64-bit. Make sure to use the 32-bit version of HitmanPro on 32-bit version of Windows operating system. The same rule applies for 64-bit as well.