Windows Defender Offline Beta

Having been given a laptop where the user had clicked on a link they probably shouldn’t have this morning and was now getting prompted to clean their system for only $9.99, I took the opportunity to test out the new Beta of Windows Defender Offline.

The package extracts to a bootable CD (or USB drive) which is then used to boot the infected PC. The PC is then scanned and cleaned without having to either boot into the affected operating system (and risk further damage to the contents of the disk) or connect to the network (and risk spreading the infection).

First results have been impressive. An hour-long scan resulted in three bits of malware being detected and subsequently removed. The PC was back up and running in under 90 minutes with minimal interaction required on my part. Definitely a tool I’ll be adding to the anti-malware arsenal.

For reference the threats detected and removed were “SWF/Blacole.P”, “SWF/Blacole.O” and “Win32/FakeRean”. The PC was running 32-bit Windows XP Service Pack 3.