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[Windows] Removes rootkits with UnHackMe

2013-09-30_001350 [1]Rootkits are a nasty piece of malware. They hide in places on your computer that are often hard to find and detect by traditional anti-virus or anti-malware protection. Indeed,sometimes it is necessary to download and use a specialized rootkit remover tool. UnHackMe is one such tool; let’s see if it is worth your time.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

UnHackMe is primarily an anti-rootkit program that allows you to remove rootkits but, according to the developer, it can also detect and remove “trojans, backdoor programs, viruses, worms, adware, spyware, search redirecting software, unwanted, useless programs”.




UnHackMe started of as an anti-rootkit utilitiy that focused on finding and removing rootkits. In recent times, the developer has expanded the functionality of UnHackMe to include protection against trojans, backdoor programs, viruses, worms, adware, spyware, search redirecting software, unwanted, and useless programs but still, even today, it is primarily an anti-rootkit tool and works best when removing rootkits.

Anyone that knows about rootkits knows there is no one-size-fits-all removal method for all rootkits. So any anti-rootkit program that claims to be able to remove *all* rootkits is probably lying, and UnHackMe is no exception. So then the question is: which rootkits can UnHackMe remove? I did a bit of research and learned UnHackMe is able to remove a handful of known rootkits:

So far so good, right? I thought so, too, until I actually used the program and ran into a scareware-like brick wall.

First of all, running a full scan with UnHackMe is very annoying because you can’t leave the scan unattended. You have to sit there and click to the next step after each scan until the scan is finished. (UnHackMe runs multiple separate scans one after another, during its full scan.) The only time you can walk away is once you hit the final scan by RegRun Reanimator. This I find to be very annoying.

Secondly, UnHackMan likes to overexaggerate what it finds. At the last scan, I got the following message:

2013-09-29_232455 [2]

Wow, really? My computer is infected with “a number of suspicious programs”? I’m “probably infected by a virus”? I had no idea, I better clean now! Or not.

As it turns out, I went to advanced view to see exactly what UnHackMe found. As it turns out, it found just two detections and both were (are) false positives. So much for being infected, eh? Oh, and to top it off, the advanced view listed “good” items, as well as detected malware, in the scan results. (Normal view doesn’t do this.) The developer does differentiate between “good” items and malware by color-coding detected malware in yellow or red but why are non-malware items shown in scan results in the first place? It is almost as if the developer wants to make it seem like you have more infections than you actually do.

Now, there are two redeeming qualities of UnHackMe which prevent it from being outright scareware:

However, the overexaggeration of scan results has put a very bad taste in my mouth. Not something I expect from a security program.

Conclusion and download link

UnHackMe is a mixed bag. It specializes in rootkit removal but also works on other types of malware, which is a good thing. It also does work to a limited extent, removing a handful of known rootkits (see full discussion above to see which ones). The issue I have with the program, however, is how it overexaggerates scan results and how it is unuser-friendly in the sense that you must sit there a scan to proceed to each next step. I’m not officially going to recommend UnHackMe because of these reasons but, at the same time, I’m not officially going to not recommend it either. Personally speaking, though, I won’t be letting this thing sit on my computer.

That being said, if you are looking for free rootkit removal, check out dotTech’s article on 13 free anti-rootkit tools for Windows [3]. If you are looking for free anti-virus, anti-malware, etc. protection, check out dotTech’s review on best free anti-virus for Windows [4]. If you want to create HijackThis-like logs that you can send to someone else for assistance, check out HijackThis [5] or NOD32 SysInspector [6].

Price: $34.95

Version reviewed: 5.99, build 424

Supported OS: Windows 7/Vista/XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download size: 13.5

VirusTotal malware scan results:

Is it portable? No

UnHackMe homepage [7]