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MBAE 1.13.1.117 showing random 'Adobe Reader is now protected' messages

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I'm running standalone MBAE 1.13.1.117 on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on three different PCs.

About a week ago on two of these PCs the MBAE notification window started to pop up randomly to announce that 'Adobe Reader is now protected' when I have not initiated any activity to open the Acrobat Reader. I don't know if this is happening on the third PC but I am waiting to find out.

I have standalone Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.2.1.1043 Premium and ESET NOD32 (was v12, just updated to v13) running in real-time and with startup scans from both of those with no messages.

Thoughts about why MBAE is throwing up those messages about Adobe Reader?

Thanks!

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Greetings,

I'm just curious as to why you are running such an outdated version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware?  That product is no longer supported and hasn't been for a very long time (please refer to the product lifecycle information on this page) and while it does still receive database updates, it isn't actually even capable of reading most of the threat detection signatures and heuristics contained in the current databases/updates as the vast majority of them are implemented using newer capabilities developed in later releases of Malwarebytes 3.x and new signature types/database syntax and heuristics are not backwards compatible (older builds such as the one you are using will simply ignore any newer signature/syntax/heuristics algorithm that it cannot read/understand).

With that said, the reason for the notification is that any time a shielded process launched, by default Anti-Exploit will display a notification indicating that it is being protected so my guess is that some process or scheduled task is loading Adobe Reader's process into memory such as a scheduled update task, a web browser/extension that is loading it for some reason, or some other application that is utilizing it for some purpose.  I would advise watching Task Manager (be sure to select Show processes from all users and sort the list alphabetically by clicking the Image Name column at the top left) to see if you can spot any of Adobe Reader's processes being loaded into memory.  I would also advise making sure that Reader is up to date by following the instructions found on this page as updating it to the latest version may resolve the issue.

Please let us know how it goes and if the issue still persists.

Thanks

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exile360 -

Thanks for responding.

Yes, I know I am running a very old version of MBAM, but I have my reasons. I plan to upgrade to the current version soon on a new Win10 PC. Thanks for your concern.

I already had checked Adobe Reader for updates. My copy is at version 2019.021.20048. When I 'Check for updates' it responds with 'No updates available.' When I go to the download page it offers version 2019.021.20047. So my copy is more recent than what is offered on the download page. Strange.

Thanks for the tip on checking Task Manager when I get the Adobe Reader  notifications from MBAE. I will start doing that.

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Are you having problems with Malwarebytes 3 on Windows 7?  The reason I ask is because I use 7 myself so I might be able to help.  I do know there have been some performance issues with Windows 7 and Malwarebytes 3 in the past but they seem to be resolved now, at least based on my own experience and reports from users who were affected by them (typically freeze/hang on system shutdown when Malwarebytes was running in the background, slow startup etc.).  It might be worth a try if you haven't installed version 3 in a while as there have been several releases over the past several months which have addressed a lot of issues.

There's also a beta for version 4 available if you want to check that out, though the UI still has some functions missing from it.  You can find out more about the beta here if you're interested.

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Thanks for your offer of help with MBAM on Windows 7.

I decided to wait to install MBAM 3 on our three Win7 PCs until the early problems settled down. Meanwhile life events got in the way so I decided to put off upgrading to MBAM 3 until I replace our Win7 PCs with Win10 PCs later this year.  I have three lifetime licenses to push through the process. Should be interesting. 😊

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That's understandable.  You need your machines to get things done, not to worry about troubleshooting issues, I totally get it.

That said, MB3 has come a long way and is far more stable than the earlier releases were now that the Devs have had time to work out the major kinks.  I'd suggest testing the upgraded on one of your systems just to make sure there are no issues, uninstalling 2.x first and rebooting just to make sure there are no hiccups upgrading, then install the latest version of Malwarebytes 3 from here.

I'd also suggest making sure you have already signed up at My.Malwarebytes.com to manage your licenses using if possible the same email address you used when you originally purchased your licenses.  That will help you to avoid issues with licensing/activation.  Instructions on how to do so can be found in this support article and if any of your licenses don't show up please refer to this support article.  If you do run into any trouble with your licenses/activation, please contact support directly by filling out the form on the bottom of this page and they will get everything set up and ensure there are no issues on their end.

Edited by exile360

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OK, so after monitoring for a few days it appears that Adobe Reader is triggering the random 'Adobe Reader is now protected' notification window when it is checking for updates.

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That explains it.  I always keep Adobe configured not to check for updates and I disable its background services from running in the background under Services.msc (they aren't needed for Reader to function at all) and I check for updates manually every Patch Tuesday as this is typically when it and Flash Player both receive updates in sync with Microsoft's monthly patch schedule.  That explains why I haven't seen this behavior.

I'm not sure if there is an easy way for the Devs to avoid the notifications when Adobe checks for updates but I will make them aware of it in case there is something they can do.

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