Malwarebytes update disables thousands of machines, fix released

By on April 18, 2013, 2:30 PM

A botched software update by Malwarebytes disabled thousands of systems around the globe this week, according to a blog post penned by CEO Marcin Kleczynski. Around 3PM PST on Monday, April 15, the security vendor released a definitions patch that wrongly identified legit system files as being malware.

By preventing essential Windows.dll and .exe files from running, the update crippled affected machines and caused quite a headache for many IT professionals. Speaking with V3, an unnamed organization said the update took down 80% of its servers, and that was just one of many stories the publication said it received.

The update was only live for eight minutes before being pulled from Malwarebytes' servers, but it was long enough to affect waves of users who hit the company's helpdesk and forum asking for a fix -- a request that was granted in the same day with a forum post offering instructions on how to set things straight.

If you're still dealing with the faulty patch and you can boot into your system as an admin normally or with Safe Mode, Malwarebytes has released a tool that'll take care of everything for you. You can grab the Anti-Malware FP Fix Tool here, then it's as easy as extracting the files, launching Run.This.bat and rebooting.

Still busted? Malwarebytes has support avenues in place for home and business users, though you'll need some information handy before contacting them, including your OS version, whether or not you've restarted your computer, whether the system even boots, and if you have access to your OS installation media.

"I want to offer my sincere apology to our millions of customers and free users," Kleczynski wrote on the company's blog. "More was expected of us, and we failed," he said, noting that the company is making immediate changes to prevent a repeat event, including additional layers to check the work of its researchers.

"I started this company because I thought everyone was entitled to malware-free computing. We acted overzealously in that mission and realize far superior procedures around updating are needed...My promise to you? Working day and night, we are commissioning several new resources to stop this from happening again."

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