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Full Disk Access on macOS Catalina

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If you have upgraded to macOS Catalina and have installed the corresponding update to Malwarebytes for Mac 3.9.32, you may see a problem where the app will tell you that you need to enable Full Disk Access. However, when you follow the directions provided, you will not see Malwarebytes Protection in the list where the directions say to look for it.

We are still unsure exactly what changed, and whether this is a Catalina bug that will be fixed in a future release, or whether we need to change something. We are investigating.

In the meantime, you can fix the problem by downloading the Malwarebytes for Mac installer and reinstall it manually. There is no need to uninstall Malwarebytes for Mac first, you can simply install on top of your existing copy. Once you have done this, you should see Malwarebytes Protection on the list of apps to give Full Disk Access to.

Download the Malwarebytes for Mac installer here: https://malwarebytes.com/mac-download

 

Technical background

It seems that something changed between the Catalina betas and the final release, and it is triggered by installing the Malwarebytes for Mac update via the installer process located at /usr/sbin/installer, as opposed to the Installer app located at /System/Library/CoreServices/Installer.app. When installing via the former, Malwarebytes Protection will not appear on the list. When installing via the latter, it will.

We have also observed cases where Malwarebytes Protection will disappear from the list, even though it has already been given Full Disk Access. Despite not appearing on the list, it will nonetheless continue to have Full Disk Access, and will remain capable of detecting and removing threats from locations that are not accessible without Full Disk Access. This is definitely a Catalina bug, which leads us to believe the other problem may also be a related bug.

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I'm in Mojave at the moment and looking at my Catalina - Data volume there is no /usr/sbin, so I suspect what you see is actually a hardlink to the System's Installer.app. That could still be a Catalina bug, I suppose.

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11 minutes ago, alvarnell said:

I'm in Mojave at the moment and looking at my Catalina - Data volume there is no /usr/sbin, so I suspect what you see is actually a hardlink to the System's Installer.app. That could still be a Catalina bug, I suppose.

/usr/sbin/ is on the system volume in Catalina. See:

https://eclecticlight.co/2019/10/08/macos-catalina-boot-volume-layout/

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Hello Thomas, 

I have installed and re-installed MBAM on macos catalina but the prompt for full disk access still does not appear. I guess I will just wait until the issue 

is resolved. 

best wishes

zeke

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