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Trend Micro Incorporated, a global cloud security leader, today announced the release of HijackThis as an open source application. HijackThis - (see this Wikipedia article) - scans your computer to find settings changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. HijackThis also generates an in-depth report to enable expert users to analyze and fix an infected computer. Several security communities use HijackThis log files to help users evaluate and eradicate infections. A common practice for novice users is to generate a HijackThis log file and submit it to one of the many forums devoted to HijackThis on the web. Experts at these forums provide information on which items are causing your problems and how to remove them safely from your computer. The code, originally written in Visual Basic, is now officially available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/hjt/. "This means that other people can build on a solid base to create or improve their own anti-malware tools," said Merijn Bellekom, the original creator of HijackThis. Trend Micro has offered HijackThis as a free tool since acquiring the antispyware freeware tool from its Netherlands-based creator, Merijn Bellekom in 2007. By then, it had already been downloaded more than 10 million times and was often used to submit logs to online discussion and help forums, such as Castlecops.com, Majorgeeks.com and Spywareinfo.com, to elicit comments that could help in cleaning infected desktops. "HijackThis was an essential tool at CastleCops, so much so that there were forums, web applications and services dedicated to it, answering questions posed from the data collected about files and registry entries. Hands down, HijackThis was vital to the health of a PC providing needed data that helped experts clean machines from complicated malware infections. Enabling the open source community with source code for the powerful tool HijackThis shows the commitment Trend Micro has toward advancing security and privacy. The OSS framework provides people with an opportunity to help others in a rich and diverse environment, and this ensures that HijackThis will continue building on its strength in serving the community," said Paul Laudanski, Founder, Castlecops.com Trend Micro will continue to maintain the original source code and will update the base code on SourceForge as developers make modifications that are essential and positive to the continued improvement of this code. As new malicious code is released faster than ever before, the need for analyzing log data to identify new malicious code is more important than ever. Through this offer to the open source community, the product has the opportunity to develop and become an even better solution to quickly identify new malicious code. "HijackThis moving to open source is a really exciting stage for this tool and a big thanks to Trend Micro for bringing this tool back to life. HijackThis was once the most used tool for enumerating Windows startup programs and quickly identifying the presence of malware. Moving HijackThis to open source will prompt more rapid releases and also allow more people to be involved in the project so that it is able to keep pace with current infection techniques," said Larry Abrams, Owner and Founder of BleepingComputer.com.