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eion

"Unable to contact license server" after 3.7.1 upgrade

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Hi there,

After ignoring updates for a month, I updated to 3.7.1 today, and now I get the error "Unable to contact license server".  The mbamservice.exe was going into a constant crash loop that was chewing up HDD and CPU with the Windows Error Reporting, but since disabling the 4 real-time protection options, this has stopped.  I am however unable to reenable the 4 real-time protections.  Opening the "Account Details" tab triggers the "unable to contact lisense server" error again.

I've tried pinging and connecting to keystone.mwbsys.com and sirius.mwbsys.com and they both resolve to IP's however only keystone returns with an OK in the browser, sirius refuses to connect.

Attached is the mb-check results 

mb-check-results.zip

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Ran the support tool, did a repair, still no luck.  Just gathering the logs now

The windows crash event viewer thingee shows

Faulting application name: mbamservice.exe, version: 3.2.0.765, time stamp: 0x5c508d96
Faulting module name: MwacLib.dll, version: 3.1.0.535, time stamp: 0x5c4b9e72
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x000000000000d95c
Faulting process ID: 0x380
Faulting application start time: 0x01d4cccd50dcfdc1
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes\Anti-Malware\mbamservice.exe
Faulting module path: C:\PROGRAM FILES\MALWAREBYTES\ANTI-MALWARE\MwacLib.dll
Report ID: 95b53e09-94e2-4f34-9636-80dc9db00890
Faulting package full name: 
Faulting package-relative application ID: 

 

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I tried spinning up a proxy server and set Malwarebytes to use it, but there's no traffic coming through to it

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Hello,

This issue is being caused by an incompatibility with certain third-party programs that insert a DLL in to the Winsock. In your case, the program responsible is Proxifier version 3.29.

Please consider uninstalling this program, rebooting and then checking if the issue still occurs.

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I've used both Proxifier and Malwarebytes for years, how come this version is the first that's experiencing this incompatibility?

I still use Proxifier to help with work I do for Pidgin, so removing it would be a serious impediment.  Are there any other workarounds, such as copying a winsock dll into the Malwarebytes folder for it to use instead?

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Posted (edited)

Hi @eion,

Malwarebytes version 3.7 introduced a new type of driver file - Early Launch Anti-Malware (ELAM) - to meet Microsoft's AM-PPL requirements for interfacing with the Windows Security Center.

We are investigating the incompatibility with certain third-party Winsock DLLs.

In the meantime, the options available are to either uninstall the third-party program or revert to the previous version of Malwarebytes (3.6.1).
A link to the installer can be found here: https://malwarebytes.box.com/s/plo5hdm39who0lwld7j1y5e55rum8z33

Edited by LiquidTension

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Thanks for the explanation and thanks for the link to the old version :)

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That's quite alright. I will provide an update once further information is available regarding a permanent solution.

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I would also appreciate an update when a solution is found.

After noticing MWB has not actually been running for the last couple of months, and being unable to open it, I reinstalled and spent many hours trying to find a solution for why I couldn't activate the licence, before finally stumbling across this post. I run a VPN (Astrill) which I suppose may be causing the conflict, because MWB 3.6.1 works fine.

Uninstalling my VPN is not an option for me, because of the country in which I live. I would appreciate it if you would release a proper fix for this problem soon.

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It may be worthwhile to seek out a VPN that doesn't use the deprecated Winsock/LSP filtering method and instead uses the current standard WFP method if possible.  That said, you might also check with your VPN provider to see if they offer an option to use WFP instead of LSP as I discovered at least one software vendor who does.

More info on the deprecation of LSP/Winsock can be found here, here as well as here.  In fact, I'm confused as to how these programs are using Winsock/LSP DLL injection in Windows 8+ since, at least based on my reading, every OS newer than 7 is supposed to be incompatible with it/require that developers use WFP instead.  Perhaps there is no hard block on it though as I thought there was.  I may have to dig deeper to find out what the truth is.

In my opinion, one of the biggest problems with LSPs is that they inject their DLLs into other programs' processes to control traffic rather than simply hooking directly into the network stack and handling things on a machine level (the way that WFP does) as DLL injection can cause all sorts of problems with stability, compatibility and especially security (since, if DLL injections are allowed into what is supposed to be a secure process, its memory and activities can be modified by the third party DLL thus compromising the application's process).  This is also incidentally why Microsoft, Google and Mozilla are all getting away from allowing DLL injection into their browsers' processes which I suspect will break compatibility with this and any other VPN/web filtering software that uses LSP/Winsock rather than WFP once they roll out versions of their browsers that include enforcement for these policies.  In fact, at least as I understand it based on my research, Modern/Metro apps in the Windows Store on Windows 8/8.1/10 already block such injection since it violates the secure sandbox of that interface, which was one of the main points of implementing it (aside from cross-platform compatibility with mobile devices, of course).

Either way, hopefully this issue will be addressed soon so that Malwarebytes is no longer affected by this issue.  Hopefully there is a solution which allows the problem to be fixed while still retaining their newly implemented Early Launch Antimalware (ELAM) driver/functionality as that's a big feature for Windows 10 for security applications like Malwarebytes.

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Nothing yet unfortunately, but based on what I've been hearing from Support it is likely that this issue should be addressed in the next release of Malwarebytes assuming the Developers have been able to find a solution.  That said, I don't know when the next version of Malwarebytes is set to be released so I would suggest keeping an eye on this area of the forums as they always announce the new releases in a pinned topic at the top of this area.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Abidan said:

Any news on this fix? Would be nice to be able to upgrade.

Hi @Abidan,

The fix for this issue is scheduled for release in an upcoming installer upgrade. I'll provide an update in this topic once it's released.

Edited by LiquidTension

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Greetings,

This issue should be resolved by the new beta build of Malwarebytes, version 3.8.  You can learn more about it here.

If you decide you wish to give the beta a try then please open Malwarebytes and navigate to Settings>Application and scroll to the bottom of the tab where it shows the option to enable beta updates and select the option to do so and click Yes at the confirmation prompt then scroll back to the top of the same tab and click on the Install Application Updates button and allow it to download and install the new build, allowing it to restart your system if prompted to do so once the installation completes, making sure that you save anything you were working on before you do.

If you do try the beta, please let us know if it resolved the issue you were experiencing or not.

Thanks

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