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MBAM and problem with zombie processes

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Using MBAM Premium 3.4.5

How did you encountered the issue and any steps to reproduce it

I noticed this problem about a month or so ago, my machine was running out of ram for some reason.  I then tracked this down to all these zombie processes still existing.  I then started removing anything that had been installed recently.  I then uninstalled MBAM and the issue went away.

I am also using ESet NOD32 Antivirus

Exclusions in ESet
E:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\MbamPt.exe
E:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\mbam.exe
E:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\assistant.exe
E:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\MBAMWsc.exe
E:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\mbamtray.exe
E:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\MBAMService.exe

Using RAMMap64 I see lots of zombie process, primarily cmd and reg, that eventually take up all my system ram.  If I set MBAM to not launch at windows startup this does not occur.

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The topic you linked to has nothing to do with RAM usage, performance or the real-time protection in Malwarebytes.  The user that posted about that was using the free, on-demand scan version of Malwarebytes and during the scan, Malwarebytes detected a threat and because it was accessing the file, it caused ESET to analyze the file as well and since ESET (as with most AVs) uses on-access detection, it detected and removed the file when this occurred.  This is very much a corner case and won't happen with the real-time protection components in Malwarebytes because they work very differently from the scan engine with regards to when and how they detect items.  The protection layers in Malwarebytes operate at different phases in the attack chain from the ones used by ESET and other AVs to detect threats, so either the attack will be blocked by Malwarebytes before ESET has the chance to see a threat, or ESET will detect and remove the threat if it gets passed those first layers of Malwarebytes protection, or the threat will get past both the first layers of Malwarebytes protection and ESET, then if the user tries to execute the malicious file in memory, Malwarebytes later phase malware protection component will trigger and detect and quarantine the file because it operates as an on-execution protection/detection component, unlike ESET which functions as an on-access protection/detection layer.

By the way, the exact same thing would have happened with any other scanner, or even if the user were performing some other task which caused that file to be accessed (like running a search of their drive's files, opening the folder and viewing the file in Windows Explorer or any number of other tasks/processes).  It would have even occurred if the user was running any of the free online virus scans which don't even install any full antivirus product on the system.  Any of these tasks would have caused the file to be accessed and thus would have caused ESET to see/analyze the file and detect it.

Edited by exile360
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  • 1 month later...

Just a bump for this.  This is still going on.

I recently updated to with components 1.0.365

Repro steps

  1. Disable Web, Exploit, Malware, Ransomeware protection
  2. Run RamMap
  3. Run Firefox
  4. Refresh RamMap and view the Firefox processes
  5. Close Firefox
  6. Refresh RamMap and view their are no Firefox processes
  7. Turn on web protection
  8. Run Firefox
  9. Refresh RamMap and view the Firefox processes
  10. Close Firefox
  11. Refresh RamMap and view their still is a Firefox process left behind



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A new component update for Malwarebytes has been released, version 1.0.374.  I don't know if this specific issue was addressed or not, but it's worth a try if you wish to give it a shot.  To install it, open Malwarebytes and navigate to Settings>Application and click on the Install Application Updates button and it should be silently downloaded and installed.  Once it has installed and you see the new build number reflected in the UI, I'd recommend restarting the system at least once to confirm that the new components get loaded into memory, then perform your test again to see if it makes any difference.

If you do try it, please let us know the results.


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