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hitman pro reviewSometimes one is just not good enough. Especially when it comes to something as malevolent as spywares and trojans. The solution from Hitman Pro could be something akin to a multi-barreled approach. A combination of 8 anti-spywares out there for the dangers posed by cyber snoop tools preying on your computer.

The basic premise behind Hitman Pro is that a single anti-spyware tool is often insufficient to detect the sheer variety of malicious code in the form of spyware and /or trojans. It is not an anti-spyware by itself but it downloads some of the popular anti-spyware scanning engines to scan your computer.

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Therefore Hitman Pro is more of an umbrella for the rest of the scanning engines to work under. The scanning engines include names like – Prevx CSI Free, Trend Micro, Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE, Spybot Search&Destroy, Webroot SpySweeper, Ewido AntiSpyware, PC Tools Spyware Doctor and Sunbelt Counterspy. It also bundles in two trial anti-virus scanning engines (not real time protection) Trend Micro Sysclean and McAfee VirusScan.

The anti-spyware programs include trial versions of paid software like the Webroot SpySweeper and PC Tools Spyware Doctor. When the trial period is over, you will have to disable them or alternatively if you have the paid component then Hitman Pro recognizes and accepts them.

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The interface gives the user control over which spyware engines to install and once the setup commences, the process is pretty much automatic. It’s as if the program switches on its auto-pilot. Each program is downloaded and installed in sequence along with the updates. The interface is vanilla simple and this obviously is a double-sided feature. The simple interface offers ease of understanding and use but it also takes away control over individual engines. The only option that’s available is to select the scanning engines.

Along with automatic scanning, Hitman Pro offers some extra features like a behavioral scan, browser protection and an expert mode.

The “behavioral scan” looks at suspicious registry entries and collates all orphaned links with related information. The users can then go over the results and remove the displayed files.

The “browser security” features (called ‘SurfRight’) allow for a safe surfing environment protected from trojan attacks.

The “expert mode” gives some control to the user to deal with the threats detected. The expert mode also retains a record of the earlier detections so that the user does not have to do a full scan again. At the end of it all, the program generates a single report file for your perusal.

After using the software for some time, I’ve discovered both its good and bad sides. Here’s a small rundown…

The good…

  • An integrated all in one solution to take care of your ‘defense’ shield.
  • It’s a great free solution for those who don’t like to be saddled with the individual complexities of an anti-spyware program.
  • Simple basic control with a single click operation.
  • Updates and patches are downloaded automatically.
  • Uses the better known free anti-spyware software. Also has support for the paid ones.

The bad…

  • Lack of individual control over the scanning engines.
  • Multiple engines take up time and slows down the system. It’s best to run the engines when the system is idle. (An auto shutdown checkmark is a thoughtful help)
  • As the individual engines bloat with repeated versions, downloads over slow connections could become a problem.

Hitman Pro’s appeal lies in its one-icon solution for multiple anti-spywares. Hitman Pro and its quiver of engines could just help us circle our wagons against the attack of the trojans.

Hitman Pro 2 (2.7.6.0) runs on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.

Note: As of date, Hitman Pro 3 is in beta phase and available for public download. However it offers a different flavored solution to its earlier version. It does not use third party software but relies on its own new sophisticated heuristic technique.

Why don’t you download it, give it a go and then let us know what you think of it? Did it manage to find extra spyware that was hiding in your computer?

  1. T.J. Mininday
    January 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Great idea, but this has got to be pretty bloated and slow.

  2. Aibek
    November 5, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Maaaaaan, I just realized those guys removed the free version from the site :-(. Saikat, do you still have a setup file for it?

  3. Doug Woodall
    October 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    It seems to me there would be some conflicts with the different signature files as they are run. Or do they run one at a time?
    I'll check it out though as Im a security geek after all.
    Thanks for the info.

    • Saikat
      October 28, 2008 at 10:43 pm

      Hi Doug,
      Do let us know about your 'test' results. I have been running it for 30 days now. Haven't had too much of problem. Except the lack of individual custom control.

  4. Saikat
    October 27, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I hope this helps...(It is mentioned on the landing page of the Hitman Pro site itself). To quote from the site:-

    Several users of Kaspersky, F-Secure and NOD32 Antivirus have contacted us about a Trojan horse named Trojan.win32.Autoit.dt or Win32/AutoIt.NAV in Hitman Pro. This is incorrect!

    Kaspersky and NOD32 are making mistakes by generating false positives on all programs created with AutoIt Script. Important parts of Hitman Pro are created using flexible AutoIt Script, so we hope that our colleagues fix this error soon.
    Update 2008-09-15: NOD32 has fixed the error.

    To indicate how careless these big companies are in this matter, the false positive is already triggered when you create a simple program like the following example:
    MsgBox(0, "Goodmorning", "Hello world")

    • Aibek
      October 27, 2008 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks for the info !

  5. Czarek
    October 27, 2008 at 3:23 am

    My NOD32 flagged the file as DANGEORUS so I haven't even been able to test it :( Anyone else had virus soft flag it?

    • Mark O'Neill
      October 27, 2008 at 6:23 am

      I downloaded and installed it. AVG passed it as OK.

  6. venkat
    October 26, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    What happens to system resources ,how much memory will it consume these questions need to be answered ,It is better to use Internet Security suites or I prefer using Spyware doctor starter edition and Malwarebytes anti-malware causes no slowdown of computer

    • Mark O'Neill
      October 27, 2008 at 6:28 am

      As Saikat points out in his article, it's best to run apps like this during times when the system is idle. So it doesn't really matter in these circumstances how much memory the app consumes.

      I do all my scanning during the night when I am in bed.

  7. Mark O'Neill
    October 26, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    No, it's not ridiculous actually. Not every spyware program picks up every piece of spyware on your computer. What Spybot doesn't detect, Lavasoft might very well find right away and vice versa. So it doesn't hurt to have multiple programs running on your computer working parallel with one another. Then when they all say "NO SPYWARE ON YOUR COMPUTER" then you can be 100% sure that there really is none.

    • Will Mueller
      October 26, 2008 at 10:09 pm

      I completely agree with Mark... I HIGHLY recommend having MORE then one (or two) anti-spyware applications on your computer at all times.

    • Aibek
      October 27, 2008 at 6:27 pm

      Same here, I have been using 3 malware scanners for years now. In my case it's Spypod SD, Lavasoft Adaware (free version) and default Windows malware scanner.

  8. smerball
    October 26, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    this is ridiculous. is microsoft really worth the hassle?

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