MalwareBytes Anti Exploit: Digital Ninja

Category: Security

Surprise attacks are often the most devastating, both in terms of damage they can do to individuals and the number of victims who are attacked. The online world has it own version of such attacks, in the form of drive-by downloads and zero-day exploits. But there's a new security tool that promises to provide ninja-like protection from these threats. Read on to learn more…

Chuck Norris Might Be Jealous...

MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit BETA is a free tool that puts a virtual martial arts expert between your computer and the bad guys. It was released recently by the makers of MBAM (MalwareBytes Anti-Malware) a program I often recommend to root out infections that are already present on your system. It’s compatible with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and all of the plug-ins for these browsers.

Internet security pros use the term “zero-day exploits” because a) they exploit hidden vulnerabilities in software and Internet protocols that are discovered by bad guys but not yet known to the good guys, and b) people get exactly zero days’ warning of impending attacks.

Malware that relies on zero-day exploits spreads "fast as lightning," infecting thousands or millions of computers overnight. (For some reason, this song just came into mind.) Once a vulnerability becomes known to anti-malware developers, it can take days or weeks to develop an effective defense and distribute it to users of their products. Getting the latest defenses rapidly is one reason you should leave your antimalware program’s automatic-update feature enabled.
MBAM Anti-Exploit

Sometimes the developers of application software are slow to patch holes discovered in their products. This response lag time leaves a window of opportunity for the bad guys, and they send their malware jumping through as many open windows as possible as fast as it can.

Just Drive On By...

There are also attacks that give no warning and do not rely on a self-spreading virus program to find victims. Many rogue Web sites bear hidden code that inspects visitors’ browsers and computers for zero-day vulnerabilities. When a security hole is discovered in a visitor’s system, the site invisibly downloads to it a payload of malware. Rogue sites may have arsenals of different malware bombs designed for different vulnerabilities, and download one or more based on what hole(s) they find in a visiting system. These destructive downloads are called “drive-by downloads” because Web surfers drive by a site and are attacked as they pass through.

Vulnerable applications are becoming much more common as a malware attack vector. A program like MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit can help to protect you there, but it's even better to be proactive in keeping your installed software up to date. See Avoiding Zero-Day Exploits for more information on this topic, and a link to a free program that will scan your computer for outdated and exploitable software.

MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit BETA protects browser components that are frequently attacked, including Java, Flash, Shockwave and Acrobat. Popular apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe's Acrobat Reader, and Windows Media Player are also targets for malware creators, so MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit shields vulnerable or unpatched applications you have installed.

An effective defense against unknown and unpredictable malware cannot rely on signature files, the databases of identified malware for which patches have been written that is downloaded to most anti-malware programs regularly. It must rely on instantaneous recognition of threatening behavior by a site or software download, and instantly block the threat… rather like Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris on a dimly-lit street, facing down dangers unknown.

MBAM Anti-Exploit uses very few system resources and runs quietly. It's designed so as not to interfere with other anti-malware tools, and doesn't require any tinkering. It's compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Keep in mind that “BETA” means a program does what it is designed to do, but it's still in a final testing stage. It may not be entirely free of bugs that can produce unintended consequences such as crashes, false positives, and interference with other programs. Try MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit BETA at your own risk. I have tried it for several days now, and have not noticed any problems. A stranger sitting down at my machine would never guess that I had a ninja guarding it.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome! Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "MalwareBytes Anti Exploit: Digital Ninja"

(See all 27 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

18 Oct 2013

Downloaded and installed, thanks so much for getting the word out. I will be letting others know about it as well.

Posted by:

18 Oct 2013

Harold: I had to check that out as MSE is known for few (that is to say zero) false positives. I just downloaded mbae-setup- from and scanned it with MSE with no alerts. MSE details:
Antimalware Client Version:
Engine Version: 1.1.10003.0
Antivirus definition:
Antispyware definition:
Network Inspection System Engine Version: 2.1.10003.0
Network Inspection System Definition Version:
As always, make sure the source of the download is what you think it is.

Posted by:

18 Oct 2013

hi Bob: I installed the Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit beta. I use Chrome, I ran the program from the start menu, but how do I know that this is added onto the browser as an add-on? Is it suppose to show up as an icon on the browser or does it just run in the backround? Also is it automatic when you open a browser or do I have to load it each day I turn on my computer? thanks,

Posted by:

18 Oct 2013

Thanks again Bob. I can't wait for the final release!

Harold - You're still use that Microsoft rubbish?

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

I wonder how this Malwarebytes new program compares with Threatfire? Any comments?

EDITOR'S NOTE: ThreatFire has been discontinued by PC Tools and is no longer available for download..

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

Hi Bob

How do you get rid of a browser hijacker called qov6.

Thank you

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

It downloads fast, it runs fairly quickly, the latest version fixes the MS Security Essentials issue, there are no "extras" such as toolbars etc..... but...

My assessment of virus software programs is jaundiced by their ability to detect AND get rid of an insidious piece of ^%#^* software called "UNBLOCK-US". To date I have not found one anti-virus program that will detect it.

If anyone knows the answer to getting rid of this [except Michael Chua from Unblock-us, whose advice I would not trust in a fit], I would really appreciate it. Have a quick squiz at all the people affected by this ^*%&^ - Google "how can I get rid of Unblock-us".

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

I installed MalwareBytes Anti Exploit a month ago and have had no issues with it at all. As to whether it does what it intends, there's no clue, and maybe no news is good news.

Posted by:

Bob Bowen
19 Oct 2013

Thank you Bob. I have installed MB Anti-Exploit and it automatically took on the job of protecting both my IE 11 and Google Chrome on my Windows 7.

Thanks for the great tip, and all the other good and useful stuff that flows from your eloquent articles. We home users are really indebted to you...

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

Dear Bob,

Just tried MalwareBytes Anti Exploit on my Windows 7, i7-2600 desktop. Firefox is my main browser. Once installing the program, everything slowed down dramatically. Some sites, such as GMail, would not work at all. I uninstalled MBAE, restarted my computer, and all is normal again. Not sure why, but it did not work for me. I hope this adds to the discussion.

(Disclaimer: I use MBAM, and have nothing but praise for it. So I do not have issues with the company. I may try MBAE again once it is out of beta. But for now...not an option for me.)

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

I've been pleased with Malware Bytes other product and their tech support in getting rid of a particuarly bad virus which switched my browser to another one. This "other" allowed other malware invaders in, to complicate my problems. Thanks for your favorable review of this Beta-version product.

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

Harold-please do read Bob's article on MS Security Essentials. It explains a lot.

Bob-Many thanks for the heads up on this product. I've been using Malwarebytes for quite some time now and have found it to be excellent. Hopefully their "Ninja" will be too!

Posted by:

19 Oct 2013

Bob, I have been using MBAR(Malwarebytes Anti-Root Kit Beta), since September 21, 2013. So far, no issues, crashes or anything else. Also, must note, that when I checked into the file's properties, I see that there is a log, of what looks like "daily" or frequent updates. Now, all of this was done, just simply done. I like that. I personally think, that any part of a Anti-Virus, Root Kit or whatever, should simply update it's data base, without any fanfare or interference.

Bob, must admit ... I thought of the same song, now I am listening to a bunch of Disco music, from one of my most favorite eras, of all time ... The 1970's!!! I also, LOVE Funk, from the same time period. Good times and some mighty, good days. :)

Posted by:

20 Oct 2013

Nowhere in your review nor on the MBAM website does it offer any hint as to how much this marvel costs for a home user, if the licence covers all browsers on the same computer, and if it can be copied to other computers in the same home.
I used to welcome automatic software updates but have had enough bad experiences (I got far more expert at re-installing operating systems than I wanted to be)that I now refuse them.
That said, I have used MBAM free for years and place it somewhere north of terrific.


Posted by:

20 Oct 2013

Ok, Bob ... I have downloaded the Anti-Exploit Beta and it seems to quietly, sit on your taskbar, monitoring. No crashes or Blue Screens of Death or slowdowns, just sits there "working." By the way, I have Windows 7 Professional - 64Bit and it is running fine. :)"Never assume anything" ... However, I assume, when an attack occurs, this program will "pop up" some kind of an announcement, otherwise, it's purpose is moot.

When, you 'open' the program, it does tell you it's 'Running' and in looking, at the 'Log' area, it has told me, it is 'protecting' my 3 Browsers and Java. It seems to 'add' programs, as they are used.

Just a note, I agree with Joe ... Anti-Exploit Beta is a 'stand alone' Windows application. You can't find it on any of the Plug-ins or Extensions, in your Browser settings.

Posted by:

Roger Wehling
20 Oct 2013

Thanks for the most helpfyl info, as always. I liked the song but it linked to this one that got me enjoyably sidetracked.

Posted by:

21 Oct 2013

Bob, took your advise and installed this immediately. Have been hoping to find something like this for a couple of years as it does address one area of vulnerability that has concerned me.

This is s simple low maintenance program that installs very easily, slows nothing down and almost instantly is protecting your system. The one thing I hope it does is notify the user if it encounters a 'drive by download'.

Normally I don't install the same protection on my wife's computer as if it bothers her she shuts it off (yes, I check her computer a couple times a week to be sure she hasn't shut down basic protection) but this one is so unobstusive I definitely will install it. Thank you.

Posted by:

21 Oct 2013

I installed it twice in my Windows8.1Pro system with uS Defender and both times I received a prompt stating "Cannot start Malwarebytes Anti-exploit Driver. the Anti-Exploit process will be terminated". Shot an email to MBAM making them aware of the issue with a screen capture of the error prompt! Too Bad!

Posted by:

22 Oct 2013

In all fairness my above reply seems as a negative but I was only attempting the issue I was confronted with. Since this is a 'beta' version of the utility, I was impressed that they wrote back to me immediately stating:
"Hello and thanks for your interest in Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit. This is a known issue of the current beta build. We are working on a new build which solves this problem. Please keep an eye on the support forum for the announcement of the new version. Thanks!" That deserves a few Kudos! :)

Posted by:

31 Dec 2013

Bob - I was happily using Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Beta when suddenly today I started getting the message "The beta testing period has finished and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit is not protecting you anymore. Please contact us to obtain a newer version." Is this their way to force a purchase of their product? It was a great freebee while it lasted!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Looks to me like it's still free, you just need to update your copy.

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