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Will Malwarebytes identify hidden or encrypted malware installed on HDD?

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This is my first post here. I use Malwarebytes Premium on my computers home and very happy with it. 

I recently bought a used computer off eBay; its hard disk drive has Windows 7, some optimization tools from dell and apparently nothing else.

The computer is a Dell 3620 workstation that was most likely used for business purposes. 

I installed and ran latest Malwarebytes premium and it didn't find anything bad.  the Windows Defender also didn't find anything bad.

However, I'm afraid that the computer might contain some malware in a hidden or encrypted state that could later activate and do bad things. 

My question is: are Malwarebytes capable of finding cryptic or hidden malware that might be inactive now?


Thank you.  



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If Malware exists in an encrypted state, it would require a decryptor to bring it out of its dormant state and resurrect it as a malicious executable binary.

For example, if it is placed in an archive file Malwarebytes and other anti malware would still detect it.  Thus it would have to be a password protected archive file.  That would require an external utility to employ said password and extract the malicious binary.  Another example would be a graphic utilizing steganography to embed a malicious binary.  It too would require an external utility to extract the malicious binary.  The utility used for such extraction would itself be a subject for anti malware detection.

** I always tell people, if you buy a used computer, the very first thing to do is to wipe the PC and reinstall the OS of choice on it.

Edited by David H. Lipman
Edited for content, clarity, spelling and grammar

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Thank you David,

I got the same advice from other people and still not sure. The seller said he did exactly this: wiped the hard drive that came with the system. I also don't have an unused Windows copy sitting around. 

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If the seller did install the OS from scratch, chances are low that it would have even some Dell software.  That usually comes preinstalled from the factory.  The proof in the pudding would be the dates in the Control Panel Applet -->  Programs and Features.  IFF the OS was wiped and reinstalled and then sold, it would have a very recent list of dates of those programs/utilities that were installed.

BTW:  The Windows 7 OS License is built into the system.  You can obtain Windows 7 installation media from Dell.


It is up to you.


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