back to article You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever

Security software maker Malwarebytes has emitted two product updates and apologised to users – after its code turned their machines into near-bricks. The problem started with a production update the company pushed out last Friday, which sent users to their keyboards complaining of excessive RAM and CPU consumption. Affected …

  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Thank you Openreach

    ...for screwing up my fibre upgrade, which meant that I had no broadband from Tuesday until Sunday so missed this!

  2. hitmouse

    Re: "Fall Creators Update"

    I switched them off after they decided that every Google domain not ending in .com should be blocked.

  3. Paul 87

    Communication is the real issue

    Every software vendor is going to have these cockups, where Malwarebytes let me down was there was no obvious place to get information, and no communication via the account email or the patching mechanism to acknowledge the problem or that it'd been fixed

    So yeah, fuck ups happen, but lack of proactive communication is what costs you customers

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Communication is the real issue

      Yes, but the moral of the story is "don't release updates on a Friday!"

      1. Steven Burn

        Re: Communication is the real issue

        Not the moral of the story at all. This wasn't a product update, it was a def update (hint: I work for them), countless of which are released 7 days per week.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Communication is the real issue

          A def update which required features not present yet in the installed client.

          Sounds like a product update to me pal.

          1. Steven Burn

            Re: Communication is the real issue

            The features are present, it was just a malformed rule (single digit missing) that caused the initial issue, which then led to the remainder of the issues happening.

  4. foxyshadis

    Yeah, I got an emergency panicked call and had to uninstall MalwareBytes from someone on Saturday morning. Apparently by the time I was done, the update was pushed, but there was no way to actually update, because it was chewing up over 12 GB on a 4 GB laptop, continuously allocating more, and it took ten minutes to be able to kill the damn process via task manager, after first wasting time trying to stop the service cleanly. It's going to be a bit before I trust MalwareBytes again, I'm not going to reinstall it just because they say the one-off goof is fixed.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      "It's going to be a bit before I trust MalwareBytes again, I'm not going to reinstall it just because they say the one-off goof is fixed."

      Just out of interest, which software that is and always has been bug-free do you run then?

      1. 404

        "Just out of interest, which software that is and always has been bug-free do you run then?"


        You asked.... muaaahahahaha

        1. Michael Strorm

          @404; "notepad.exe [is and always has been bug-free]"

          Apparently not.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just out of interest, which software that is and always has been bug-free do you run then?



      3. hoola Silver badge

        So you are quite happy to run unprotected or have some other less good piece of software in its place?

        Maybe you should stop using Windows, Intel CPUs, Android, IOS or Windows Mobile....

        And so the list goes on.

        1. foxyshadis

          Malwarebytes is not the only antimalware on the planet; there are other consistently top-rated ones, though I've since come to trust MB again. Someone who burns you has to earn that trust back.

  5. rmason


    Seems a bit of an overreaction.

    Name an AV vendor that has never dropped this particular bollock or a very similar one? I've seen AVG and kaspersky both quarantine bits of themselves after an update, I've had ESET cause mass blue screens, i've seen sophos do similar.

    They copped to it, and fixed it. There aren't many better alternatives out there.

    1. aliceklaar?

      Re: @foxyshadis

      Absolutely totally what @rmason says

      "They copped to it, and fixed it. There aren't many better alternatives out there."

      MBAM always works for me and the other techs over at the TechNibble fora.

      (Hi Nige, Julian, Rob etc)

      HitMan Pro gets my worthy mention.

    2. SaltyTubers

      Re: @foxyshadis

      AVG's Dec 2010 update left every PC in my house unusable, had to boot from DVD to recover. QA and communication is where it's at.

  6. gregthecanuck

    Please... Let Me Translate That For You

    "We failed to adequately test our releases and finally got burned."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please... Let Me Translate That For You

      The script they posted to help fix even has typos in it that prevent it from working. Testing? We've heard of it...

      Not having a good Monday...

  7. PunkTiger

    To paraphrase...

    ...a million "attaboy"s can be wiped out by one "oh crap!"

    1. 404

      Re: To paraphrase...

      Hmmm where did you get your data?

      According to the US Army (circa mid 1980's), it was ten 'attaboys' to one 'oh shit'.

      1. PunkTiger

        Re: To paraphrase...

        Numbers adjusted for inflation.

  8. Florida1920

    Bricked PC = Ultimate Security

    It wasn't a bug, it was a feature.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bricked PC = Ultimate Security

      Sorry, that response has already been copyrighted by Micro$oft.

  9. DJV Silver badge

    "Recently we have been improving our products"

    That's generally a good idea - except when it's Microsoft's ideas about "improving" Windows by adding telemetry and all the other crap they shovelled into it after Windows 7.

  10. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    that one time

    "When you're crying, no one notices your tears. When you're worried, no one feels your pain. When you're happy, no one sees your smile. But fart just one time..."

  11. Howard Hanek

    Poor Communication

    I maintain a couple of dozen PCs and I was seeing out of memory errors on high end machines with loads of RAM. I tried to research and fix and found.........very little or no info or any use. I've come to rely on them as part of our overall security strategy and this incident did much to destroy Malwarebytes goodwill.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: Poor Communication

      Oh so THAT'S what was doing that.I thought it was Firefox.

      This only happened to me in one machine, but it somehow screwed up Syncthing to the point where it shuts down every time I try to run it, even after a reinstall. Going to have to figure out how to do a clean reinstall next. Screw you very much, Malwarebytes.

      And to think I recommended you. While you were doing this to me.

  12. hellwig

    This is the last straw

    I mean, I've never used malwarebytes, but, yeah, come on now.

    This seems to accidentally happen a lot to security suites. The question is, how does the company not power-on a PC a notice they can't do anything with it? How does this escape quality testing?

    I mean, why wouldn't you roll this out to your company's own computers first? Are your employees not using this software on their personal machines at home? So many avenues this could have been discovered BEFORE your paying customers got screwed over.

    I should just switch to Mac, they don't get viruses.....


    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: This is the last straw

      Errr,,,, yeah. quality. We've heard of it and testing costs a lots of money that could be better spent on bonuses. Or something along those lines.

  13. Jonbays

    It happens to every AV vendor so why all the fuss it's all about how useless AV blacklisting is it's reactive and prone to false positives and ultimately redundant these days.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Malwarebytes is still the go-to virus scanner for millions of users and has been for a very long time.

    (The free download and run version anyway)

    And now that they recently purchased ADWcleaner it is even better.

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