Broken Malwarebytes update causes high RAM and CPU usage

Users of Malwarebytes, a popular security solution for Windows, reported on Saturday that the software’s RAM usage and CPU utilization was going through the roof.

One user published a screenshot that showed the Malwarebytes Service process using more than 19 Gigabytes of RAM, and others soon chimed in and revealed that Malwarebytes used a lot of RAM and CPU on their devices as well.

Some users reported even that some protective modules, Web Protection and Real-Time Protection would not turn on anymore

malwarebytes high resource usage

Malwarebytes Premium and Premium Trial versions on all supported versions of Windows were affected the most. It is unclear at this point in time whether Malwarebytes Free systems were affected as well.

Affected users ran Malwarebytes Premium version with component package 1.0.262 and update package

Tip: You can verify the program, component and update package versions by going to Settings > About in the Malwarebytes application.

Malwarebytes released an update shortly after first reports appeared on the company forum. Update package 1.0.3799 was distributed through the application’s automatic update system. It turned out however that the update did not resolve the issue for users.

Malwarebytes users experienced high RAM and CPU usage even after installation of the update on their devices and rebooting the machines.

Malwarebytes issued another patch, which updated the update package to version 1.0.3803. This time, users reported that the patch seems to have fixed the issue on their machines.

It needs to be noted that it is required to restart the system after update installation. Restarting Malwarebytes won’t do the trick. Some users reported that they had to restart the computer multiple times.

Malwarebytes staff suggests that users turn of Web Protection, run a check for updates and restart the PC afterward if the issue is not resolved automatically.

Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski published an official statement on the issue on the Malwarebytes forum. Kleczynski explained that a malformed protection update caused the issue. The client could not process it correctly which caused the high resource usage on customer devices and protection issues.

In short: make sure that the update package version is at least version 1.0.3803. If it is not, check for updates to install the most recent update package version and restart the computer afterwards to complete the installation.

Closing Words

Some users thought that Malwarebytes had been compromised, especially since some protective modules would not stay on or could not be turned on at all. Malwarebytes reacted quickly to the issue but it still took them two tries to get it right.


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