Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Update Improves Exploit Protection

This seems like a step in the right direction; even though this is just a beta/test version, those drive-by download attacks can be a real pain to get rid of.

Malwarebytes recently released a first public beta version of Anti-Exploit, an exploit mitigation tool for Windows that works very similar to Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit. The program steps in when exploits bypass the first and second line of security of a computer system. So, instead of allowing the exploit to run on the system, they are blocked from doing so by anti-exploit software.

This is of course only true if these special security programs support the blocking of those exploits on the system.

Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit runs silently in the background for the most part. It does not offer as many configuration options as EMET, but it is still a solid choice when it comes to this kind of protection. Especially since it can be run alongside EMET on the same system.

Anti-Exploit

malwarebytes anti-exploit

Today’s update of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit brings the version of the application to 0.09.4.1000. It is still an early version and still listed as beta. What’s interesting about this new version is that it includes several new features that users will find useful.

If you are already running an earlier version of the software, do the following before you run the new version’s installer:

  1. Close the Anti-Exploit version running on the system with a right-click on the system tray icon and the selection of Exit.
  2. Close all programs that are protected by it, including web browsers, Microsoft Office applications and other programs that run on the system.

You can then install the new version which will get installed over the old one.

As far as new features are concerned, there are three that are noteworthy.

  1. Malwarebyte’s Anti-Exploit previously contained what the company calls “stage 2 anti-exploit techniques”. The new version introduces “stage 1 anti-exploit techniques” to the application which can detect and block exploits at an earlier stage of execution.
  2. The memory protection techniques have been improved in regards to stability, performance and compatibility with shielded applications.
  3. The new program version ships with a text program that you find in the program folder. Execute mbae-test.exe to test that the program is running and properly working.

You can use the test program to test your system’s security setup to see if your regular antivirus software and programs catch those exploits, or if they let them slip past their defenses. Just closes Anti-Exploit prior to launching the test program to see how these other programs do.

Additional information about the changes are listed in the official changelog that you can access here.

Verdict

The improvements that Malwarebytes has added to the latest version of Anti-Exploit improve the program significantly. It is still a beta version, and should not be run on productive environments because of this. While it is very likely that you won’t notice any ill-behavior if you do, it may be better to wait for the final release of the application instead.

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