HijackThis is an application originally distributed by TrendMicro to help combat all kinds of computer threats. And I say originally by Trend Micro because the application hasn’t been updated for a few years, so its effectiveness when it comes to searching for harmful software for our computer leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, the creators of the application released the code of the application, so we can use a fork of this much more updated application designed to detect new threats.
What is HiJackThis?
Unlike antivirus applications, which use a database to compare possible infections and their effects on the system, HiJackThis works in a totally different way, which is why it is a highly recommended application to install on any computer, especially if it is susceptible of receiving attacks through the internet. HiJackThis does not scan your computer for files, it scans your computer instead. looking for methods to hijack and steal information of a team. In other words, HiJackThis is the typical antivirus application that analyzes files by comparing them with a database, what it does is look for patterns that indicate that our computer may be at risk.
By working in a completely different way, with this application we can detect new malware, spyware and other adware or that are unknown to the community. Also, it is able to distinguish between safe and unsafe items, so there is very little chance of it returning a false positive. Even so, there is always the possibility, so if this were the case, we would have to analyze the device with other applications to be completely sure.
How the app works
Once we have downloaded the application on our computer, we must run it with administrator permissions. It is not necessary to install the application since it is a portable version, so we can always carry it with us with a USB drive. In the main menu of the application, the one that is shown as soon as you run it on the computer, we have options to access all the functions that the application offers us.
Do a system scan and save a logfile
The first option on the application’s start menu invites us to perform a complete scan of the computer and generate a file in plain text format that opens automatically after scanning the computer. The result of the analysis shows us a number in front of the process that has been scanned, a number that refers to the sections that the computer has analyzed and that may pose a security risk for our computer.
Each record shows the application name and path, which allows us to quickly identify if it is an application that we use regularly or if we are talking about an application that is part of the system. If a route is shown in the list of results that we cannot identify which application it refers to or we have doubts about whether it may be a malicious file, we just have to select it and press the Analyze This button to send a SafeZone.cc report, where in a process of 10 days we will receive a response. If 10 days elapse and we have received no response, it is a harmless process for our team
If we want to expand the area of analysis with HiJackThis, in the results window we click on Settings and mark all the available options that can be analyzed. In this section, we can also customize the font for the generated reports, create a list of processes and elements that should be ignored in the analysis and mainly manage backups.
Do a system scan only
This second option allows us to carry out the functions of the previous one, including access to the application’s operation configuration options, but without creating a record in a plain text file to share or analyze more closely with other people. This is the only difference from the first option available on the menu.
List of backups
In this section we can consult and restore the changes we have made to the computer after being analyzed by the application. In this way, if we have made a mistake when making a change, we can easily revert it without being forced to access the Windows registry.
None of the above, just start the program
If we click on the last option, the application will perform an analysis of the computer and will allow us to generate a log file to store in the application as well as in plain text. It also allows us to mark as solved the records that are shown after the analysis so that they are not shown again in future scans.
Where can I download HiJackThis
HiJackThis is a completely free and open source that we can download from its page on GitHub, from where we can download the executable file, in .zip and tar.gz format. The application occupies just over 7 MB and, as I mentioned above, it is portable, so it is not necessary to install it on the computer that we want to analyze.
If we take into account that it is an application that analyzes the most vulnerable areas of the system in search of manipulated files and that it can pose a threat to the computer, it is obviously an application that we should all use. As it is not an antivirus, we can run it whenever we want on our computer without colliding with Windows Defender or the antivirus that we have installed.
That yes, one is a simple application to use since, in addition, it is available in English and in other languages among which Spanish is not found. Being such a complete application, it is ideal for companies where there is a computer security department, although we can also use it on our computer without major problems, even if we don’t know how to solve the problems it shows us without uninstalling the applications related to the problem.
Alternatives to HiJackThis
HiJackThis is not a simple application, although it is one of the most effective for detecting anomalies in our equipment. If we cannot get hold of it, we can use one of the following alternatives that we show you below.
- spybot. This application is capable of analyzing and eliminating any type of threat in the form of malware and spyware. It is compatible free for individual use but not for companies and we can download it from its website.
- Zemana Anti-Malware. With this paid application, in addition to scanning your computer for viruses, malware, and spyware, it also includes a comprehensive scan of your computer for potential threats. The download of this application is free from here.