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Unable to access malwarebytes.org site (but can update MBAM)

by kirbyskipper / March 23, 2012 5:49 AM PDT

Recently I discovered that I am unable to access the malwarebytes.org web site from my HP laptop. Oddly enough, I am still able to update the MBAM software that I have running on the computer and to run scans. I have not knowingly placed any restrictions on access. I'm running Windows 7 and Windows Security Essentials.

I've run an MBAM scan and have found no evidence of malware -- nor is the computer demonstrating any evidence of a virus.

Can anyone provide me with any insight on what might be happening to restrict access to the malwarebytes.org web site? And on what I might to do remedy this issue?

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by kirbyskipper

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Check your add-ons
by malwfix / March 27, 2012 1:02 PM PDT

Just went through this myself. Site worked on IE, but not FF. Same error message as you. This thread was the only relevant online reference I could find. Feared the worst, but things kept on coming up clean for multiple virus and spyware scans.

Then checked my add-ons. Disabled them all, and sure enough the site loaded. Added them back in one-by-one and the culprit turned out to be HTTPS-Everywhere 2.0.1.

Hope this helps.

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Answer
More questions than answers..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / March 23, 2012 6:56 AM PDT

kirbeyskipper...

It would help to know if you have the free or paid version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. Just wanting to be sure there's no conflict with Micrsoft Security Essentials (MSE). <= I'm presuming when you reference to "Windows Security Essentials", you mean MSE.

It would also help to know what other security software you have installed. The reason I ask. Please read:

Checklist for installing Microsoft Security Essentials

Pay special attention to #3 where it states:

Remove ALL real-time anti-malware products that were ever installed on your PC (Norton, McAfee, TM, AVG, Avast, Avira, ESET, etc.) Uninstall your previous real-time anti-malware. Then, use the removal/cleanup tools in this thread. Not only should you remove your current anti-malware product(s), you should also uninstall any free or trial anti-malware products that may have been installed on your PC when purchased, even if never activated. Some anti-malware products have their own firewall. Removing / uninstalling these products will (or should) enable the Windows Firewall. MSE will use the Windows Firewall by default. After removal and cleanup of all other anti-malware products, restart your PC and check that the Windows Firewall is ON. You can check the status of the Windows Firewall in the Action Center (or Security Center if XP) of your PC, or via the Control Panel.

What (specifically) happens when you try to access malwarebytes.org? And have you tried accessing the site using a different browser?

Let us know..
Carol

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No MS Essentials
by Mysteryunknown / March 23, 2012 4:59 PM PDT

Having similar issue but do not have MS essentials, removed years ago, and have used Malwarebytes for years. Only difference on system I am having this issue on is I can not even update. Other systems using XP are working fine, this issue is only on 7.

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Shouldn't hijack another thread BUT ...
by Edward ODaniel / March 23, 2012 9:36 PM PDT
In reply to: No MS Essentials

since you are here I have to ask whether you can answer the questions Carol posed for the Original Poster:

"What (specifically) happens when you try to access malwarebytes.org? And have you tried accessing the site using a different browser?"

Have you checked your firewall to make sure you are not blocking the site?

Have you tried UNINSTALLING MalwareBytes then re-booting and re-installing?

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MBAM site problem
by kirbyskipper / March 24, 2012 7:54 AM PDT

I'm not sure how to check my firewall to see if I'm blocking the site. Could you provide guidance on this?

As for your suggestion that I uninstall MalwareBytes and reinstall....I'm hesitant to do this since I can still update with the version that I have installed on my computer (and do scans). I'm simply can't access the web site when I go directly to it from a browser.

I'm concerned that if I uninstall it, I'll lose the capability to get back into the site and won't be able to keep using the product.

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Have you tried?
by Carol~ Forum moderator / March 25, 2012 11:41 AM PDT
In reply to: No MS Essentials

Mysteryunknown..

As long as you already have Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware installed, and the version is 1.60 or later, give the following a try:

• Navigate to the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (MBAM) folder in your Program Files. C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware or C:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware <<= Most likely the location in your case.
• Within the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware folder you will see a Chameleon folder. Open it and double-click on firefox.com.
•:As instructed, press any key. Do so quickly when the command prompt opens.
• MBAM will begin to update. When the update process is complete, click OK
• When MBAM terminates threats running in memory, it will automatically open and perform a scan.
• When the scan completes, click on Show Results. Click on Remove Selected to remove the threats found.
• Click Yes in order to restart your computer and complete the removal process.

If all goes well, run another scan to make sure all threats have been removed.

Let us know if you have an earlier version installed, so we can provide another method of getting MBAM up and running.

Best of luck..
Carol

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Followed Instruction
by Douglas Hadland / April 14, 2015 1:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Have you tried?

When I get to the file location Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, double clicking will crash windows explorer and take me back to the desktop. Same thing happens when I try to access the web site. Explorer crashes and the computer goes back to windows desktop. I can run chameleon to install Malwarebytes but running the actual program the I default back to mydesktop.

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kirbyskipper, Sorry to jump in.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 14, 2015 1:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Followed Instruction

Try running RKILL before running Malwarebytes to see if some malware is interfering.

-> I missed which malware/trojan/other is in play here.

Hope you, kirbyskipper, can shed more light on this 1,116 old problem.
Bob

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Response to your questions...
by kirbyskipper / March 24, 2012 7:50 AM PDT

Thanks for responding. Here are some answers to your questions....

First, I am running the free version of Malwarebytes. Also, you're correct -- I meant to say that I was running Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), not Windows Security as I'd noted.

Since I got the computer, I've run only MSE -- no other security products have been installed on the system (as soon as I got the computer, I removed the security product that came with the system (I believe it was Norton) and have run with MSE since then.). I've run MBAM successfully for some time. I may have run some other anti-malware product once when I thought I had a virus, but think I removed it immediately thereafter. I can no longer find any evidence of anything running when I look through my active programs.

The Windows firewall is operational and appears to be on at all times.

When I try to log into malwarebyte.org, I get a message that says "This webpage is not available". It suggests that I should check my internet connection, router, etc (which are all working fine...). I'm using Chrome...but have the same response when using IE or Firefox. To the best of my knowledge, I'm not restricted from accessing any other websites.

Again, thanks for your input and suggestions.

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Responses to your Questions UPDATED
by kirbyskipper / March 25, 2012 2:04 AM PDT

I went back and tested all of my browsers again -- and discovered that when using IE, I am able to access the malwarebytes.org web site. Both Chrome and Firefox still give me an error message when trying to access the page.

I'm assuming that this helps narrow down the problem some but am not sure how to troubleshoot things from here...

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Progress has been made..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / March 25, 2012 10:23 AM PDT

kirbyskipper...

I'd first like to thank you for all the information you provided. And then apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Last I was online, was shortly after replying to your original post on Firday.

The fact that you can now access Malwarebytes.org with Internet Explorer, does help narrow-down things down. But in turn, it also eliminated a lot of what I thought to suggest. (Resetting your router, checking Windows HOSTS file, Windows Firewall, using the IP address instead of the name, etc) Now that you're able to access Malwarebytes.org with IE, there could very well be a simple explanation and solution. But unfortunately, not one I'm able to pinpoint. Sad

It would help to know the exact error messages from each, when trying to access Malwarebytes.org. Firefox generally offers "details".

You stated, "you may have run some other anti-malware product once when I thought I had a virus, but think I removed it immediately thereafter."

IF you did have a virus, the possibility exists that some types of malware may have been responsible for changing your browser/s settings to use a proxy. Removing the malware doesn't undo the settings. IF in fact, you were infected at a recent point in time. And .... IF in fact you were not originally connecting to the internet via a proxy.

Check to make sure the LAN setting's in Firefox reflect those of IE. It's much the same as what Mozilla suggests here under "Connections", when you're unable to connect to a website with FF, but can with IE.

You will find what Internet Explorer's settings should look like by going to Tools>Internet Options>Connections Tab. Click on the "LAN Settings" button. Notice there is NO check in the box "Use a proxy server for your LAN". Firefox and Chrome should reflect the same. Especially Chrome since it uses the same connection and proxy settings as IE. Check Chrome as well, just to be sure.

For Firefox. Go to Tools > Options > Advanced. Click on the "Network" tab. To the right of where you see ""Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet", click on the "Settings" button.

For Chrome. Go to Tools > Options > "Under the hood". Under "Network", click "Change proxy settings". Then click "LAN settings", to make sure "Automatically detect" is unchecked.

As an after thought. You also stated your laptop came with Norton installed. I doubt it's causing the present situation, but did you use the Norton Removal Tool to make sure all remnants of the product were gone? MSE especially doesn't play well with "anything Norton".

LASTLY. Since you indicated the only scanners you use are MSE and MBAM, it wouldn't hurt to try one other.

ESET's Online Scanner - Their FAQ and Help sections should answer any questions you might have. (Temporarily disable MSE prior to running the scan)

Carol

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Update on progress
by kirbyskipper / March 26, 2012 11:41 PM PDT

Thanks again for your continued input. Here's an update on the actions I've taken in response to your suggestions:

1. I examined the LAN settings in IE and mapped them back to those in both Chrome and Firefox. The Chrome settings are now identical (I had to make a change in Chrome), and the FF ones are essentially the same as well. In all cases, "auto detect" is now unchecked.

Following these actions, I rebooted and again tried to access malwarebytes.org -- unfortunately, I saw the same results. I got right in with IE...and no access through the other sites. I've included the error messages received at the end of this note.

2. I than ran Nortan Removal tool to remove an potential remaining fragments that might be left in the system (nothing showed up in Control Panel). Following this, I rebooted and tried again. Same results.

3. I than ran the ESET scanner tool you recommended. The scan came up clean with no threats.

Again, thanks for your assistance. Looks like some other folks may be having this same problem, so I'm wondering if there's something else larger going on..........

Here are the error pages that I get back from Chrome and Firefox when attempting to access the malwarebytes.org site:

Firefox:

Unable to connect
Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at malwarebytes.org
The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.

Chrome:

This webpage is not available
Google Chrome's connection attempt to malwarebytes.org was rejected. The website may be down, or your network may not be properly configured.
Here are some suggestions:
• Reload this webpage later.
• Check your Internet connection. Restart any router, modem, or other network devices you may be using.
• Add Google Chrome as a permitted program in your firewall's or antivirus software's settings. If it is already a permitted program, try deleting it from the list of permitted programs and adding it again.
• If you use a proxy server, check your proxy settings or contact your network administrator to make sure the proxy server is working. If you don't believe you should be using a proxy server, adjust your proxy settings: Go to the wrench menu >Options > Under the Hood > Change proxy settings... > LAN Settings and deselect the "Use a proxy server for your LAN" checkbox.
Error 102 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED): The server refused the connection.

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Intruding here
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 27, 2012 8:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Update on progress

I hope you don't mind.

I agree with the poster malwfix below about add-ons, but back to that in a minute.

All these are for Firefox unless I state otherwise.

1] Can I just check that the site you are having problems with is http://www.malwarebytes.org/ ?

I ask because further up the thread you said malwarebyte.org (no "s" on the end of malwarebyte). I tried that and got redirected to some web site that my Firefox security add-on WOT, (Web of Trust), warned me not to go further.

I can get to http://www.malwarebytes.org/ without any problems

2] I was going to ask you to check the "Ping" for www.malwarebytes.org but I am getting some strange results myself.

Ping is a single packet of data sent through the computer's "Command Prompt", (Start > All programs > Accessories > Command Prompt), by typing ping www.malwarebytes.org then pressing enter. Note the space after ping. To exit the Command Prompt, type in exit and press Enter.

This sends one packet of data and traces the route it takes. Normally if ping wasn't working, the results would show a failure, but my ping works. Ping also shows the IP address for www.malwarebytes.org .

The problem I had was, when I wrote down this IP address then entered that into the browser address bar, I got a browser error saying 404 Not Found.

That said, some web sites disable ping or redirect it to protect against hacker attacks or Denial of Service attacks. So I see no benefit in asking you to try ping.

3] What does your search engine do if you type in Malwarebytes?

First of all, type www.google.com into your address bar and press Enter. In the Google search box type in Malwarebytes and click Enter.

What entries do you see? The first link should be for www.malwarebytes.org , (the green font entry under the link). If so, click the link and tell us what happens. Do the same in Chrome and IE and compare the differences.

4] Back to malwfix's suggestion, I think you should try it for Firefox, although I am unsure why it should solve the issue for FF when Chrome still has a problem.

But any way, open Firefox in it's Safe Mode. I don't know what OS you are running nor what version of Firefox, but if the FF version is recent, click the Firefox tab top left, goto Help then select "Restart with Add-ons Disabled...".

This will restart Firefox with the options shown here; http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/Safe%20Mode

Do not tick any options but instead click the "Continue in Safe Mode" button. Now see if the link above and/or www.malwarebytes.org works for you.

If so, then either one of your FF add-ons is causing problems, or your selected search engine is redirecting you. Restart FF in it's Safe Mode, and in the options, disable all add-ons, reset toolbars, and set default search engines. You can add back in the add-ons one at a time.

5] Tell us how you get on.

Mark

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Responses to your "Instrusion"
by kirbyskipper / March 27, 2012 11:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Intruding here

Thanks for weighing in on the issue. Here's some feedback on your questions and the problem.

I was definitely trying to get into malwarebytes.org (not malwarebyte.org). So the problem is not one of a bad website.

When I tried the suggestion that Malwfix suggested (to disable HTTPS-Everywhere) in Chrome, I was immediately able to get into the MBAM site. I then tried it in Firefox and got the same results. I had only recently added HTTPS-Everywhere to my browsers, so suspect that this was the heart of the problem (I'd had not issues with accessing the MBAM site before). Now without HTTPS-Everywhere enabled, I'm able to access the sites without any issues.

Many thanks to those who helped get to the bottom of this!

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That's great news
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 28, 2012 4:48 AM PDT

and thanks for letting us know.

I have heard of that HTTPS-Everwhere and was of a mind to try it myself, but it seems it is not quite ready yet.

Good work.

Mark

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Great GREAT News!
by Carol~ Forum moderator / March 28, 2012 11:04 PM PDT

I'm (extremely) pleased to see "all is well". Happy

Carol

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