Malwarebytes recently released a new version of its software, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware version 126.96.36.1997. One of the updates mentioned in the changelog is showing your license key in the ‘My Accounts’ page. This change goes hand-in-hand with Malwarebytes’ amnesty program to upgrade their licensing system to make it stronger against piracy.
What is the Malwarebytes Amnesty program?
The Internet is full of pioneers and cowboys. It’s also got its fair share of pirates and trolls. Some of those bad guys may have duped you into purchasing a counterfeit version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Or perhaps we’ve simply detected a problem with your key. Not to worry. We’re here to help.
Malwarebytes is offering a free replacement key for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium customers who have been inconvenienced by piracy or abuse. This new key will be exclusive to you going forward.
If you have a contested key, you might receive a prompt on activating the product. It will present you with two options – this is for Malwarebytes information gathering stage of the upgrade. If you pirated a key, downloaded a keygen, bought it from a dishonest vendor, or found some other way to activate the program without paying, you should choose the first option. Malwarebytes is generously turning those illegitmate keys into a 12-month subscription for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
If you bought the software, you should choose the second option so Malwarebytes can convert the license to the new system. Most likely, there is a collision between your key and pirated installed widely used. Malwarebytes will then manually review these incidents to ensure proof-of-purchase.
Of course, any change like this does not go uncontested. One user complained in the Malwarebytes forum that they felt cheated and would like their money back if pirates are getting a free 12-month subscription. Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski took the opportunity to explain the the change in that same thread.
Hi everyone, please let me take the opportunity to clear everything up.
When I started Malwarebytes, I absolutely had no idea how successful we would be today. I am extremely grateful for all of the support from everyone and how fast we’ve grown. That being said, I picked a very insecure license key algorithm and as such, generating a pirated key was, and is, very simple.
The problem with pirated keys it that they may collide with a legitimate key just by the sheer numbers. For example, Larry may generate a pirated key that matches the exact key that I already bought. Yes, this is silly, and yes, this is literally the first thing a professional software company thinks of when building license key generation, but when you think you’re building a product for just a few people you don’t hash out these details.
Now we’ve grown up, and we’ve got a new licensing system that we’ve rolled out in stages. The only problem is that we have millions of users that we’ve sold keys to, or a reseller has sold keys to, or we’ve given out keys to without keeping track. It is a mess, and you as a consumer have every right to be upset.
The first stage of this program is to collect data from our users. What keys are still alive, and who are they used by. If you are a true pirate, the furthest you will get is a year’s worth of Malwarebytes. I wish we could handle each of the keys manually and determine if they are legitimate, but there are tens of millions of them and so we’ve automated the process a bit to cut them down. After that cut down, which is when a user selects an option, we will be going through the uses manually.
Again, I know this doesn’t excuse those who feel cheated because they bought the software. I am happy to work with you on some free shirts, or a free copy of anti-exploit as you continue to support us through this process.
Malwarebytes continues to be a great tool in the fight against malware and offers a free version of the software but requires payment for its premium version with real-time protection and other features. Malwarebytes is continuing their generosity by offering the 12-month subscription for those pirates that come clean and take advantage of the amnesty program. This is a limited offer and should help protect the value of the program as the company continues to progress on reining in piracy and dishonest vendors. Paying customers should not be inconvenienced and should see this as a means to keep costs under control.