What’s going on with Malwarebytes?

By | June 7, 2013
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We’ve recently become aware that Malwarebytes no longer detects at least two of the most ubiquitous malware products (politely known to us as PUPs — Potentially Unwanted Programs), those two being Ask Toolbar and Conduit.

We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with Malwarebytes, we still recommend it. We’re just concerned that this may become a slippery slope. Malwarebytes still does a great job of detecting dangerous Trojans, and remains one of the only programs that can successfully remove Rogues (fake anti-virus programs).

We have been in contact with those in the know at Malwarebytes, and we’re hoping that Malwarebytes can provide us with an explanation as to why, just in the last few months, they have stopped detecting Ask Toolbar and Conduit (both malware by our definition) as PUPs.

We don’t care that Malwarebytes has chosen the soft name of PUPs for malware, it’s understandable in today’s lawsuit-happy world. But when it stops detecting at least two of the most prevalent, err PUPs (malware), we’re concerned.

We’ll let you know what Malwarebytes has to say about this. We hope their explanation is a satisfactory one.

We’ll keep you updated.

19 thoughts on “What’s going on with Malwarebytes?

  1. Larry Hubble

    I certainly hope this is not a trend, and I also hope that they are not beginning a trek over to the dark side. It would be really sad to see such a good program become ineffective, but, as we all know, money can do some strange things to people who are anxiously looking for that next dollar. Please let us know what you find out.

  2. Katydid

    Thanks for being so ‘on the Ball’ I will watch ‘this place’ with interest. Keep up the good works. Katydid form Kiwi Land

  3. Carolyn

    I tried going to the Windows logo + R and entering MRT like you suggested and I thought it was a great site to check for Malware. Do you suggest also using Malware bytes?

    Thanks for all the things you send us to keep us informed.

  4. YvonneInBetween

    Let’s hope they think enough of their customers to “do the right thing.” If not; well they will find out how far down the road that will take them. And I have the Professional version too…….


    Great and I just purchased this program. I hope the very good is not going to become the very very bad. If they let “Ask”in you might as well scrap the whole program As always thanks for keeping us informed.

  6. Larry

    I too hope that they not going to starting excluding more and more. My contention is that I pay for my computer, pay the ISP and the virus, antimalwareprograms and spyware. Why should they the outsiders have any right to try and put anything on my computer at all!

  7. Jeanne

    I, too, will be watching here for further information. It disappoints me to think Malwarebytes would be ‘loosening’ the reigns on their so very fine program. I wonder if this is a possible step to have people buy their pro version. Anyway, thanks for being so attentive to changes and providing us with information!

  8. Max

    I just ran Malwarbytes this morning on my son’s computer and it found a registry entry labeled PUP.Datamngr. Malwarbytes successfully quarantined and deleted it. If this has any relation to what you are referring to, I thought you’d like to know.

    1. infoave Post author

      We didn’t say it doesn’t detect any malware, we said it’s not detecting many of the more ubiquitous malware programs — AsK Toolbar, Search Protect, MyWebSearch, Conduit, et. al. It certainly detects the most vile ones, still. But the most vile ones are not the most prevalent ones we see. And when a computer has 20 or 30 malware toolbars and programs, it causes serious issues with browsers and with the operating system.

      We wrote them on Wednesday — today is Saturday, we still have not heard anything from them. You’d think they’d be chomping at the bit to clear this up, but they’re not. We’re getting skeptical…

  9. Mary M

    Thank you for all of your vigilance and passing on the info!

  10. Archas

    I have the free version of Malware bites. I keep getting a popup to buy. I also have SuperAntiSpyware Professional and Microsoft Security Essentials. Have kept all up to date but noticed Sat my SAS wasn’t active. After many hours of work, I finally did a recovery to the 4th and then tried reinstalling SAS again. Thank Goodness it worked that time and cleaned LOTS of stuff off my computer. This stuff got by them all.

    1. infoave Post author

      Your getting the popup to buy because you didn’t uncheck “Install the free trial version of Malwarebytes Pro” when you installed the free version. Essentially now, you have the Malwarebytes Professional trial version. You’ll need to uninstall it when the trial expires, and install the free version, this time making sure you uncheck the trial version check box.

  11. Mike

    I sure hope that this is not a portent of things to come,if you have enough money to make your PUP suddenly “clean”.I sure hope not.The thing that bothers me most is that the bottom line and profitability is now overtaking honesty and customer protection.I fear that corporate integrity will soon be a thing of the past.


  12. SN Harden

    After about 20 minutes of searching this subject of Malwarebytes failing to detect some malware I’ve yet to find any info on the net about it and what I do find leads me to here. So my question is where did this info come from? It is my knowledge that Malwarebytes is a highly profitable company and it is disconcerting that they would go so low as to stop detecting some malware for profit. I know things like this have happened in the past with a few anti-malware companies but I think that was the beginning of their fall from grace or they went back to performing a decent service. This kind of story I’d have thought would be all over the internet but I can’t find much being written about it. Thanks for your time.

    1. infoave Post author

      We work on hundreds of computers via our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care service. And we began noticing that about 3 or 4 months ago or so, after running Malwarebytes and finding nothing, we’d look at the browser (s) installed and find Ask, Babylon, Conduit toolbars and hijacked home pages and search engines. It wasn’t this way until the last few months as Malwarebytes always detected these as PUPS.

      About 50% of all the computers we work on have Malwarebytes installed with the latest definitions, yet many of these are infected with malware; and many have a lot of malware on them, in spite of having Malwarebytes installed, and in spite of keeping it updated, and in spite of running it frequently.

      That tells us there’s a problem somewhere. And it’s been three weeks since we wrote to Malwarebytes about this, and they still haven’t answered us. We’re concerned. We’ve always been big fans and supporters of Malwarebytes and have always considered it trustworthy. In fact, we still recommend it, but we’re having a hard time with these latest developments.

      We’ve seen this before. A long time ago, we recommended and were fans of Adaware — this was back in the day of Hotbar — one of the worst malware programs ever. Suddenly, without explanation, Adaware stopped detecting Hotbar. We wrote the developer and he finally answered. It turned out he had been threatened with a lawsuit by Hotbar and decided to turn his back on users who trusted Adaware to protect them.

      We just hope something similar isn’t happening with Malwarebytes.

  13. SN Harden

    Ok that explains bucket loads thanks for that. Lately my PC servicing business has experienced the same scenario’s you just described. I wipe out bucket loads of crap from peoples computers and as you say they all have malwarebytes and a few others installed. I’m kicking myself for not putting it all together now. I think a few were even running Symantec, McAfee and Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender as well. It just shows that software alone won’t protect you. You have to use your brain as well. I’m personally running 2 desktops, 2 laptops, various tablets and smartphones running android. All my Windows machines are running Windows 8 and one is running Windows 7. The only 2 security programs on my Windows machines is Windows Defender and MSE and Malwarebytes and I’ve never had a single problem so as I said software alone won’t protect you by itself. I will watch and make notes in the next few weeks and see what patterns develope. I have a fair few jobs coming up in my shop so I will let you know how things turn out. Hopefully Malwarebytes isn’t slipping down a path of no return because I do like it a lot but then again I used to like adaware and I’m not sure they are still around at least they are not in the news lately. Thanks for your time again.

  14. SN Harden

    FYI. Just checked on Adaware and they are still around. They have new owners and new this and new that according to trusty CNET. Still after all this time I’m not real keen to give it another shot even after reading glaring reviews of how wonderful it is now. Just a heads up.

  15. caroline

    i installed the ‘free’ Malaware put was put on a 15day trial of the paid…PUPs there are – there doesn’t seem to be a way of getting out of the paid. i have not had this problem before. the same thing is happening with Avast. CNet is a definite no no download for me.


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