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problems using malwarebytes when you are blind


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Hi, I am writing to this forum in hopes that I can contact one of the malwarebytes developers.
The reason I am writing is because I am blind and having a problem using malwarebytes which I don't think the usual technical support will have the knowledge to deal with, its also possible they might simply ignore any message I wrote to them on this topic but a public forum post is harder to ignore, I think this needs the attention of one of the malwarebytes developers.

So in order to explain the problem I need to say how I use a computer.
The answer is that I have a program on it called a screen reader this is able to read any text on the screen with artificial speech and allows me to use a wide variety of programs for pretty much anything a sighted user uses the computer for.
So now that I have explained this I can explain the problem I am experiencing, its very simple, since malwarebytes was updated from v 1x to v 2x it has become completely impossible to navigate the program with any screen reader.
I am unable to access the menu bar or any element of the gui, I would be very happy to help beta test new versions to help get this issue resolved, as having my computer protected is just as important for me as it is for anyone else on this forum, with the added complication that at the moment I can't read any messages malwarebytes gives me, I can't get it to scan my computer or remove infections the program is essentially useless to me as I presume its protecting me but I can't do anything with it.
I have payed for the premium version of malwarebytes ages ago before it became inaccessible to screen readers, so I would really appreciate it if this issue can be looked at urgently.
I am happy to offer any assistance or information to the developers I can that might help them fix this.

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Hello alexwallis and Welcome to the Forums...

 

Sorry your having issues with using version 2.x of Malwarebytes.

 

This subject has been brought up before back in Mar 2014, and you can read about it HERE

 

There was a reply in that thread by celee (which is one of the administrators on this site) where celee mentions HERE  that the issue should be resolved with version 2.1 release of Malwarebytes, however there is not date available as to when that will happen.

 

Hope this answers your questions, or at least gives you more info on the issue you are asking about....

 

Thanks

 

Firefox (just a forum volunteer - Trusted Advisor)

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Hello all, I'm not blind but I help friends who are and this is becoming a major problem for them. Most use the free version but there is at least one that uses the paid version.

One friend is the head of a household of several computers ranging from Win-7 to Win-8 and he needs to be able to set them up so that his family members can't just arbitrarily bypass MB, so for several reasons this is a crucial problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. When they try to update the signature files they are required to upgrade MB which they can't access. For the time being, is it OK for them to decline updating the signature files? There is a problem with this though, at least one friend has uninstalled MB and reinstalled an older version. Will that wipe out his old signature files too?

Between my friends, they use WindowEyes, JAWs, NVDA and one or two other screen readers. So far no one has been able to use MB with any of their screen readers or with altering settings in their screen readers either.

 

Figured I'd jump on here and add some input.

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Hi:
 
Welcome.
Thanks very much for your helpful feedback.
 
Alas, we forum volunteers don't know when the fix for this will be available -- with any luck, it will be soon, with a future version.
 

For the time being, is it OK for them to decline updating the signature files?

No, that would not be a good idea.

The MBAM database is updated 10-12 (or more) times per day, to keep abreast of the zero-hour and zero-day threats from ever-changing malware variants.

So, it is important to update the database often.

With the Premium version, this can all be done automatically and silently, via the automated scheduling feature.

 

Just to be sure I understand, though....

I *think* you might be describing a situation where the users are running version 1.75?

And they wish to continue to do so, until the screen reader issue is resolved for version 2.x????

 

If that's the case, please post back and let us know -- there is a way to configure 1.75 to accept database updates, but to decline the PROGRAM updates.

 

Thanks,
 

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Oh yes! If there's a way to keep the 1.75 from upgrading yet allowing Db updates for the time being, that would be great!

One more item, for the ones who've allowed the software upgrade, (I'll have to check back with each one as I think it was all I know) is there a way for them to rollback or can they download and re-install v. 1.75 from here?

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Hi:

 

We don't normally suggest staying with or reverting to 1.75 for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that support (including database updates) for 1.75 will end in several months.

However, for visually impaired users who depend on screen readers, staying with 1.75 a while longer, until version 2.x supports such tools, is not unreasonable.

Version 1.75 allows for separate user control over database updates and program updates. (Version 2.x currently does NOT provide this separate control.)

 

This is a wee bit complicated, so I have tried to break it down into steps.

 

User still runs 1.75 and wishes to postpone updating the program to 2.x:

  1. Dashboard > settings > updater settings: make sure that both of the options about program updates are unchecked, as shown in the attached screen shot:  olpOpyn.png
  2. In order to stop being nagged about upgrading the program if the version 2 setup file has already been automatically downloaded, the user also needs to delete that setup file from its location to stop being nagged to upgrade.
    In Win7, the file is located here: C:\ProgramData\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\mbam-setup.exe
  3. The user will still want to configure MBAM for automatic, hourly database updates, as shown: JGyTB4I.png

User has already updated to version 2.x and wishes to revert to version 1.75:

  1. Carefully follow the steps in this pinned topic: MBAM Clean Removal Process 2x
    1. HOWEVER, use this link >>here<< to download the version 1.75 installer, instead of the link in that tutorial for the 2.0 installer
      1. Click on the BLUE box titled Download (9.8 MB)
  2. Once installed, follow the steps described above to configure 1.75 to check automatically for database updates, and to postpone program updates

Note: Once a version of 2.x is released that supports the use of screen readers, users will be STRONGLY encouraged to upgrade to the more powerful and more secure version 2.x.

 

I hope this helps,

 

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Oh, darn.

I didn't think of the fact that "a picture speaks a 1000 words" probably isn't much help in this situation. :(

I don't run 1.75 on any of my rigs, so I had to rely on my archived screen shots.

I hope the illustrations are clear enough for you to be able to transcribe them to text.

(It's really quite simple. But the trick to stop being nagged about the 2.0 upgrade for users still running 1.75 is to be sure to remove the 2.0 setup file from the Program Data folder, if it has already been downloaded.)

 

For the record (and for others who might find this topic via an internet search), as I've mentioned, reverting to 1.75 ought to be considered a "temporary" workaround until the screen reader issue is resolved with a future release of version 2.x.

The reasons to use the newer version include it has built-in rootkit scanning (1.75 does not); it has a new text parsing engine to address special threats targeted by using configuration files (1.75 does not); and it has built-in Self Protection (1.75 does not). It can also detect and remove some threats that 1.75 cannot because it offers native 64-bit support for 64-bit systems (1.75 does not).

 

Please feel free to post back if you need more help.

 

Cheers,

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Hi, thanks for the great replies to this topic, it sounds like running 1.75 is a far from ideal solution, and the fact this issue has existed now for nearly 9 months with no solution from the developers speaks volumes for how much they care about there customers. Basically they have now crippled this product for screen reader users, and you would think maybe they could consider pushing some kind of emergency update out to fix the issue,
I mean why should we be forced to run out of date technology with quite big security holes simply because the developers don't consider screen reader users important enough to push an update for? basically we are being asked to choose between accessibility or leaving our systems exposed to attack and threats. How can this be considered remotely satisfactory. I do appreciate all the help from the volunteers though, but it also says a lot that no developer has jumped on this topic either.

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Hi, @alexwallis:

 

>>Disclaimer: I am just a home user and forum volunteer.  I do not work for Malwarebytes.

 

I understand your frustration and would feel the same way, if I were in your situation.

 

First, you are fine with version 1.75 for now (in fact, the Business/Enterprise version of MBAM is still 1.75).  It is fully supported and gets the same database updates as version 2.  It's probably a bit of an overstatement to say that 1.75 technology is "out of date" and subject to "big security holes". 1.75 is an excellent product; 2.x is better.  We encourage users to update, so that any issues they might experience can be identified and fixed now, rather than waiting until support for 1.75 has ended.

 

Second, MBAM 2 is an entirely new program "under the hood" and for the GUI. I do not profess to knowing the slightest thing about programming.  But I do understand providing support for screen reader products likely entails significant, complex programming changes.  This takes time.  The coding is likely NOT something that can be pushed out as an emergency patch. There are a number of items on the list for fixes, improvements and enhancements, and the one you need is one the list, as Firefox mentioned here.  You are correct that only the product team can specifically update us on the status of that one item that is so important for users with visual impairment.  We all hope that the fix will be provided soon.

 

I understand that none of this likely provides the answers you seek. I apologize for that.

 

Thank you, 

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Hi, thanks for the reply, with respect I have to disagree that 1.75 doesn't leave us exposed to significant  threats and security issues potentially, it is stated above that 1.75 doesn't have built in self protection or rootkit scanning, and that it doesn't have native 64bit support. To my mind those are extremely serious issues. I fully accept that programming takes time, but 9 months? I suspect the actual issue is the developers don't consider this a top priority issue, the thinking probably goes along the lines of well they can use 1.75 so we don't need to rush to address this issue urgently. Anyway I don't mean to have a go I know your a volunteer who is trying to help and I really do appreciate that. So, question is, where can I download 1.75 from a reputable source? I tried googling for it, I found a site that offered a 1.75 version, and what do you know as soon as I began the download my antivirus picked up a threat trying to infect my system, any help to locate the last 1.75 version would be appreciated. I suspect the gui in the v2 release has probably been programmed with something that doesn't use standard controls that screen readers can access, normally an application shouldn't need really special programming to be screen reader accessible screen readers are pretty flexible and versatile these days you would have to try pretty hard to create something totally inaccessible or use something like qt. It is fairly rare these days to find completely utterly unusable applications, sure they do exist but you would usually expect them to be packed with fancy graphics.

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I certainly do understand your frustration.
I am just a forum volunteer doing my best to help you and other users.
I cannot speak for the staff regarding the timing of the product development fixes and enhancements.
I hope they will be able to respond to your inquiry soon and with a satisfactory answer.
 
As far as rolling back to 1.75 if you are already running version 2, I provided the instructions for that in my earlier reply here: https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/155770-problems-using-malwarebytes-when-you-are-blind/#entry873059.
But some of them were in graphic format. So, they probably don't help you.
I will repeat them here as best I can (I don't know how screen readers work and I do not have 1.75 running on any of my systems, so it probably won't be perfect).

User has already updated to version 2.x and wishes to revert to version 1.75:

  • Carefully follow the steps in this pinned topic: https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/146017-mbam-clean-removal-process-2x/
    • HOWEVER, use this link here: https://malwarebytes.app.box.com/s/u0b4k0fttttab6q2qqrw/ to download the version 1.75 installer, instead of the link in that tutorial for the 2.0 installer
      • Click on the BLUE box titled Download (9.8 MB)
      • BE SURE NOT TO ALLOW THE PROGRAM TO UPDATE DURING THE INSTALLATION process (there will be a tick-box that you need to un-check during the installation wizard) -- you need to install the program and change some settings first, before updating.
  • Once installed and activated with your Pro/Premium license, in order to postpone the PROGRAM updates, please do the following:
    • Open the dashboard of MBAM 1.75
    • Click the Settings tab
    • Click the Updater Settings tab
    • In the two tick-boxes at the top of that pane, remove the check-mark (un-tick) them -- these are the boxes that say "Download and install program update if available" and "Notify me when a program update is ready for installation". You want to disable these 2 settings (remove the check mark from those 2 items).
    • If there is an "OK" or "SAVE" button, be sure to click it on your way out.
  • Please be sure to configure the program for automatic, scheduled UPDATE CHECKS in order to stay current with databases, and for automatic, scheduled daily scans (a daily Quick scan is sufficient for most users).
    • Please let us know if you need help with that.
    • As long as you have PROGRAM updates disabled, you can still configure version 1.75 to get DATABASE updates -- this is VERY important.

I hope this helps,

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