Back in 2004, fourteen-year-old Marcin Kleczynski picked up a nasty malware infection one day while cruising the Internet in search of video games. This despite having a popular paid antivirus in place.
And it was the family computer.
His parents said, you have to make this right. No big deal, said Marcin. He worked as a computer tech after school. How long could it take to remove a small bit of malicious code?
Try three solid days.
Three days searching the Internet and consulting with other people on security forums like spywareinfoforum.com who had similar problems. Who had also come to the same two conclusions:
- There was a lot of new malware out there.
- Antivirus wasn’t up to the task.
So Marcin set out to build the world a better malware fighter. He taught himself code and eventually engineered a small but highly effective anti-malware tool called Rogue Remover that quickly became popular in the security community.
More importantly, in the community Marcin discovered like-minded security fanatics and malware hunters. They hated malicious code, traded malware intel, and helped desperate folks who came to the message boards in search of answers. On their own dime and their own time.
He had found a tribe, his tribe.
Through a security forum he met Bruce Harrison, a veteran malware hunter and computer technician. They tweaked and polished Marcin’s code, and launched Malwarebytes from Marcin’s college dorm room (where he was earning possibly the institution’s worst GPA ever) in January 2008.
Shortly thereafter they recruited Doug Swanson, a graduate physics student at Princeton, who, like Marcin, had taken matters into his own hands. His home-brewed rootkit remover, Avenger, was incorporated into Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and serves as a basis for the Malwarebytes remediation technology to this day.
Now the team numbers well over 100 and is distributed globally. Composed of security industry veterans, self-taught malware hunters, and software developers, the team is united behind one belief: You and everyone have a right to malware-free existence.