Malwarebytes Accuses IOBit of Stealing, IOBit Says It's Not its Fault
Article by George Norman
On 05 Nov 2009
Malwarebytes is the company that makes the tool we advise you to use to remove rogue security software applications from your system – see our dedicated section here. Now it seems that Malwarebytes is quite successful in its field of activity (the fight against malware). So successful in fact that others are trying to rip Malwarebytes off. Who would do such a thing? According to Malwarebytes representatives, China-based computer security firm IObit would.

Malwarebytes is accusing IObit of intellectual property theft. To be more precise, Malwarebytes claims that IObit copied its signature database for various malicious applications. This database is used by Malwarebytes programs to detect malicious applications on the user’s computer.


“Malwarebytes has recently uncovered evidence that a company called IOBit based in China is stealing and incorporating our proprietary database and intellectual property into their software. We know this will sound hard to believe, because it was hard for us to believe at first too. But after an in-depth investigation, we became convinced it was true,” explained Malwarebytes.

Here’s how Malwarebytes found out that IOBit is ripping them off - in brief. IOBit Security 360 flagged a key generator (for Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware) in precisely the same manner Malwarebytes flags such key generators. The naming scheme was identical: Don’t.Steal.Our.Software.A. This could have been an isolated even, or a coincidence. There’s no way that IObit would Malwarebytes database and database format. So Malwarebytes started to add fake definitions to the database – the fake definitions referred to a fake rogue called Rogue.AVCleanSweepPro. To make things as genuine as possible, fake files that would match the fake definitions were created as well. In two weeks’ time IObit was detecting those fake files as belonging to Rogue.AVCleanSweepPro.

“Malwarebytes intends to pursue legal action against IOBit. We demand IOBit immediately remove all traces of Malwarebytes’ proprietary research and database from their software. We also demand IOBit be delisted from due to Terms of Service violations. This is criminal: it is theft, it is fraud, and we will not stand for it,” added Malwarebytes.

This is the official response that IObit has provided: “After carefully tracing and investigating the history of IObit’s database, we find that someone used the submission page which is disabled now ( to submit samples with the same names from Malwarebytes. Unfortunately, IObit database analyzer carelessly used the names provided by the submission. This mistake can be understood because it is very normal - Many enthusiastic IObit users find there are samples missed by IObit Security 360 but detected by other anti-malware products, then they would submit these samples to us and provide names defined by other anti-malware vendors.”

At the time of writing this IObit has deleted all disputed items from its database (temporarily) and has updated the database of IObit Security 360.

Tags: Malwarebytes, IObit, Security, Database, Theft
About the author: George Norman
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Malwarebytes Accuses IOBit of Stealing, IOBit Says It's Not its Fault
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