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."

User Comments: 14

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tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Well I can understand these things happen, but we do have Model Office Lab so this should have been tested fully before they release any update to the public. Hopefully this won't cause too much of a panic or damage users file systems.

JC713 JC713 said:

Good I barely use this software.

Guest said:

Let the caring commence.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Yea.. how did this sneak by them? Do they NOT use windows? lol

Guest said:

After updating, I even cannot reboot in safe mode, what should I do now???

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So then, this isn't going to turn into one of those threads where people say, "I run Avast and Malwarebytes Free and I've never had a bit of trouble"?

Does the free passive version hose your machine, or do you have to pay for this extra service?

Kunming said:

At least they were very swift at sorting things out, informing

the community and providing a fix. That's already miles ahead than

what most others firm would've done I think.

treetops treetops said:

Iv used the free version for about 5 years and I'v never had trouble. My auto updates are off and I do not think you can even get automatic updates with the free version. Great product hope this doesn't turn anyone off to it.

Rasta211 said:

Malawarebytes I forgive you.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Sophos released a dodgy updated about 5 months ago or so, the update identified every auto updater (including its own) as a virus and removing them automatically. That was a nightmare.

I don't understand how these companies can release such, system breaking, updates? Surely they must be tested in some way before uploaded to the update servers?

gamoniac said:

Good, sincere apologies are always welcomed. Great software, great company.

Guest said:

Thank you malwarebytes, apology accepted :), continue.

Guest said:

Still the best protection company although this is a huge black eye for them..

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