History of The Cleaner – 1998 to Present and Beyond

The Cleaner was created in response to the Back Orifice trojan.  It was claimed by the authors of this trojan that it was unstoppable and undetectable.  We took this as a challenge and devised a way to detect and remove it.  Thus the very first anti-malware application was created.  In the process of doing this we expanded our goals and added more common malware of the day.  It was quickly realized that our method could be used to generically detect all known malware.  Our process remains at the core of The Cleaner today along with several added technologies.

IRC or Internet Relay Chat, in particular Undernet and Efnet, have played a huge role in the collection of samples, information and expertise.  The good people there have contributed no small amout to the success of The Cleaner and MooSoft.  From the earliest days they were supportive of our efforts.

The Cleaner has been through many changes of look and feel.  It has changed in an attempt, not always successfully, to simplify the process of removing malware.

The Cleaner v7 (2011) introduced support for multiple languages.  Translations have been submitted mostly by volunteers.

The Cleaner v8 (2012) brought more positive design changes and ease of use as well as changes to the scanning engine to provide more robust detection and cleaning.

The Cleaner v9 has a further refined interface and a streamlined update process. Most of the database that was required on the users’ computer has been moved to the cloud which combined with a new database format cuts the size by 96% without reducing the effectiveness.

The Cleaner continues to evolve to meet new, old and unknown threats.

 


Version 1 of The Cleaner was released in early 1998 before the MooSoft company was formed.

The first entry in the change log:

Version 1.0 08/10/98
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First release, not much to say :)

thecleaner19d

 


Version 2 was released in late 1998 under the new MooSoft Development

thecleaner21

 


Version 3 was released August 9th, 1999

thecleaner35

 


Version 4 was released November 19th, 2003

cleaner42

 


Version 5 was released March 19th, 2006

cleaner5

 


Version 6 (2010) was released April 14th, 2009

cleaner61

 


Version 7 (2011) was released March 18th, 2010

cleaner73

 


Version 8 (2012) was released February 16th, 2011

cleaner8

 


Version 9 was released March 8th, 2013

The Cleaner 9 Screenshot