Reviewed by: Stu Craine
Published by: PestPatrol, Inc.
Requires: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP, 233 MHz CPU, 32MB RAM, 4MB hard disk space; compatible with all known anti-virus software
MSRP: US$249.99

Computer pests are hidden programs that are inadvertently downloaded with legitimate software, e-mails and Web pages. After installation, they take either immediate action or wait silently to respond to remote control by a third party. Pests perform a wide range of malicious actions from monitoring user and system information to assuming the identity of authorized users (identity theft), thus allowing unauthorized users to perform any actions the legitimate user can.

Pests create backdoors into individual PCs, bypassing established security measures, compromising the integrity of your system and threatening personal privacy. Anti-virus software routinely fails to detect such pests. And, as they do their damage from inside the organization, firewalls and IDS do not notice them. For corporations, pests have the potential to be a threat as big or bigger than viruses. Intellectual property, customer data or even ownership of the corporate Web site is vulnerable to unauthorized third parties or disgruntled insiders.

PestPatrol is a powerful security tool that detects and eliminates Trojan horses, Hacker tools and Spyware from personal computers and corporate networks. PestPatrol detects and disables or removes over 50,000 pests in 10,000 pest families. Also, PestPatrol maintains a round-the-clock research lab to search out, identify, and dissect new pests. Both PestPatrol and the scan can be set to update automatically whenever the software is run. A one-year subscription to the updates is included in the license for PestPatrol.

I found downloading and installation of PestPatrol easy and straightforward. The installer will prompt for the placement of an icon on the desktop. There are four main folder tabs: Scan, Options, Info and Logs. Each folder has sub-folders with a choice of different functions. The Info tab has a Getting Started file, as well as Support Info links and Keeping Up-To-Date programs.

The Scan tab opens to Scan Now, Monitor Progress (of scan) and Analyze a File. The user is also given the choice of Drives or Directories they wish scanned. If, after the scan is completed, a pest is detected, the user is given six choices: Analyze, Quarantine, Ignore Forever, Ignore This Time, Delete This Pest, and Help. In fact, easy to understand help files available at all points of the program makes PestPatrol very user-friendly.

PestPatrol provides three comprehensive Logs. Current Log which stores the results of the current scan and records actions taken; Session Log is stored by login name and includes information on every pest found within a scan and session; Master Log includes the date, MAC address of the user, user login name, paths to all infected files, pest name and action taken. The Master Log can be printed or exported in a variety of formats for further analysis.

The Option tab allows the user to set PestPatrol to their personal choices. I set Options to scan All Files including Archives and check for Spyware Cookies, Hacker/Security Tools and Spyware. Options also include settings for automatic scans and updates.


I had been using another program to check for Spyware, which had routinely detected two or three cookies placed by DoubleClick and FastClick. To my surprise and dismay PestPatrol detected and located fifty-six (56) Spyware Cookies on my system - convincing evidence attesting to the value and superiority of PestPatrol as a security tool. Thankfully, my system was found to be free of the far more deadly Trojan horses and Hacker tools.

An addition to PestPatrol v3 is an active memory scanner (MemCheck) which continuously monitors processes for active computer pests. Pest processes are terminated and the malicious code is deleted. This provides ongoing protection from computer pests distributed via Instant Messaging and ICR communications. The benefit to corporations is that MemCheck runs entirely from memory; nothing needs to be installed at the desktop. According to Pete Lindstrom, CISSP, Senior Director of Security Strategies at The Hurwitz Group, "This continuous monitoring process takes this product up another notch on the must-have list."

PestPatrol has a very informative Web site which contains important links to white papers on Spyware, Trojans and Ports; Pest Research Centre, FAQ and Hurwitz Group Report. There is also Tour of PestPatrol and Electronic Press Kit.

With the installation of PestPatrol, along with my anti-virus and ZoneAlarm security unit, the confidence in the security of my system has greatly increased. While PestPatrol has an evaluation version available for download, users cannot delete or quarantine found pests. My suggestion is to skip the evaluation version and for users to buy the full version. I highly recommend PestPatrol as a necessary security tool for everyone who surfs the net.

KSN Product Rating:





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