Talking tech since 2003

As many of you probably have seen Trend Micro has released a public beta of HijackThis (beta version 2.00). Of course, everyone has their own opinion on this matter and about the future of this program. While HijackThis is a major factor in helping people rid their machines of malware one must remember that it is more of an analyzing tool then anything (at least nowadays). Back when I first started helping people clean their machines it was tick a few lines in HJT and run Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-aware. However, times have a changed. Most malware today requires special removal tools.

HijackThis will scan a number of registry and system settings and then will return a nice log for the person running the scan. This log is formatted in a way as shown below:

* R0, R1, R2, R3 – Internet Explorer Start/Search pages URLs
* F0, F1 – Autoloading programs
* N1, N2, N3, N4 – Netscape/Mozilla Start/Search pages URLs
* O1 – Hosts file redirection
* O2 – Browser Helper Objects
* O3 – Internet Explorer toolbars
* O4 – Autoloading programs from Registry
* O5 – IE Options icon not visible in Control Panel
* O6 – IE Options access restricted by Administrator
* O7 – Regedit access restricted by Administrator
* O8 – Extra items in IE right-click menu
* O9 – Extra buttons on main IE button toolbar, or extra items in IE ‘Tools’ menu
* O10 – Winsock hijacker
* O11 – Extra group in IE ‘Advanced Options’ window
* O12 – IE plugins
* O13 – IE DefaultPrefix hijack
* O14 – ‘Reset Web Settings’ hijack
* O15 – Unwanted site in Trusted Zone
* O16 – ActiveX Objects (aka Downloaded Program Files)
* O17 – domain hijackers
* O18 – Extra protocols and protocol hijackers
* O19 – User style sheet hijack
* O20 – AppInit_DLLs Registry value autorun
* O21 – ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad Registry key autorun
* O22 – SharedTaskScheduler Registry key autorun
* O23 – Windows NT Services

List taken from

The reason I bring this up is because of the fact if someone else were to make a program such as HijackThis they would need to be very careful with the name of the program, the way it formats the log, the features as well as the names of the features. All of which could be potential copyright/trademark infringement issues. Even sites with the name HijackThis in them are susceptible to possible infringements.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Trend Micro is also an Anti-Virus company and has a number of other software applications that are not free. The reason I bring this up is because it’s definitely a possibility they will start use HijackThis to advertise those applications either during or after use or maybe even start bundling HJT with their security applications. Who knows exactly what the future has in store for HijackThis but if it’s the same future as CWShredder (Granted CWS was nearly dead when Trend Micro bought it) – it’s not looking too good.

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