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Malwarebytes thinks EXCEL.EXE is ransomware, now I have no permissions

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The file is EXCEL.EXE in the install folder for Office 2019.
Windows 10
It my own personal machine and I am an administrator.

First, Malwarebytes reported EXCEL.EXE as a ransomware file. When this alert occurred I was in the middle of running an Excel file with macros. It's a routine file that I've been using for a couple of years. Here is the report from Malwarebytes:


    -Log Details-
    Protection Event Date: 7/13/20
    Protection Event Time: 10:58 AM
    Log File: 4bdfc328-c519-11ea-8d85-d050998a9a5c.json

    -Software Information-
    Components Version: 1.0.955
    Update Package Version: 1.0.26771
    License: Premium

    -System Information-
    OS: Windows 10 (Build 18362.900)
    CPU: x64
    File System: NTFS
    User: System

    -Ransomware Details-
    File: 1
    Malware.Ransom.Agent.Generic, C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\EXCEL.EXE, Blocked, 0, 392685, 0.0.0


The Excel process was killed. Now I am unable to run Excel. I opened it in Explorer to check security.  It shows that I do not have Read permission. For "owner" it says "Unable to display current owner." If I click "Change" this heading information disappears and I have no options to view or change permissions. When I try to run it as administrator it tells me I do not have appropriate permissions. When I try to delete it, it tells me I do not have permission.

Why would MWB identify this file as ransomware? Have I been hacked? Or is it a false positive?
It did not quarantine this file, it just removed all permissions. Even as Administrator I cannot take any actions. I can't even delete it, so now I can't reinstall Microsoft Office.
How do I recover from this?

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***This is an automated reply***


Thanks for posting in the Malwarebytes for Windows Help forum.

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I'm sorry you've experienced this issue.  It is indeed a false positive.  There is a detailed thread about this issue here that I recommend reading.

I hope this helps, and if you have any further trouble please let us know.


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