Spybot - Search & Destroy

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Spybot - Search & Destroy is an anti-malware application designed for on-access and on-demand scanning and removal of various kinds of malware, including spyware, adware, hijackers and trojan horses.


Spybot-S&D started in 2000 when Patrick Kolla, the author, needed to get rid of some adware that was responsible for triggering the dial up rooter to establish connections when none were needed. As a student of applied computer sciences, he quickly hacked together a tool to deal with this problem, to save some time should it reappear.

Made sensitive of the issue, he read an article in German computer magazine c't shortly afterwards, and mailed the author of that article about some different behaviour that he experienced in the adware in question. c't printed that email as a readers letter, which started the first future users asking where to get that software.

Open SBI

We at Safer Networking Ltd. (the company behind Spybot-S&D), have always recognized that the trust users have in our products needs to be earned, and tried to make our products as open as possible. There's a clear problem when becoming too open though: if the information on how exactly we detect threats is too open, the bad guys will be able to counteract even faster, which would cause even more work for our relatively small team.

A compromise at detection database level came up quite early: we added an option that allowed users to add their own custom detection files so that people who would miss detection for some products, or suspect partiality for some malware companies on our part could write and distribution their own additional databases. Due an outdated documentation file (that hasn't even been announced but appeared only as an answering post to a discussion in the older support forum long gone) being the only source of information, that happened quite ralely; with our Italian translator Enrico Maria Biancarelli, who provided probably the most content of the usage tracks database, being the special exception.

OpenSBI is our attempt to finally introduce this technology to the public, with up-to-date information, useful tools and a community to share your efforts with. Let's all make it harder for malware to persist!