Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an application designed to keep your computer secure by scanning for and removing malware as well as monitoring incoming data so that any threats can be eliminated before they are in your system. This software has been praised for its usefulness and ease of access but it seems that it has begun blocking popular torrent websites isohunt.to and limetorrents.cc.
These blocks have been enacted by Malwarebytes Malicious website protection that is normally used for a website that contains harmful information, this prompted TorrentFreak to ask Malwarebytes what was happening, to which their Malware Intelligence Analyst Steven Burn told them,
We’re blocking the IPs (amongst others) because there’s a plethora of IPs on the [same network] housing a ton of malvertising and fraud sites
This means that while neither of the two sites contain any harmful data because they are located close to other harmful locations on the internet, hosted in the Ukraine, that they are being blocked. This problem is easy to fix if you have Malwarebytes and still want to access these blocked websites as you just have to allow it in a popup box.
On top of blocking websites it seems that any seeders that might have been selected through these questionable IP connections are also being blocked. The senior security researcher at MalwareBytes also made the following comment,
Our main goal is to protect our users from malicious hosts that could either be servers participating in drive-by downloads or even home computers spewing spam, So the block of only certain IPs within that pool is simply that. We are blocking the ones that we have identified for malicious activity, which also happen to be torrenting.
The actual protective value of this is questionable as Torrentfreak notes, because torrents already make sure the file is the same on sending it out. In a separate comment Malwarebytes acknowledged that they would look into it and see how they could manage it better in the future
Finally when asked what their thoughts were on having their web host being caught in this block Isohunt.to simply explained,
These guys webcare360.com provide great hosting that is bulletproofed against different kind of abuses. So a lot of websites around the world use their service, looks like MalwareBytes simply blocked all IP addresses that belong to this hosting provider.
This is an interesting take on the net that we currently use to catch malware as it comes in. Instead of trying to miss sites that people want to see while also missing some malware it seems the new approach is to catch all the malware and some good sites, with the ability to pull the good sites out of the net again. I think this different approach is interesting and might prove to be a more capable way of blocking spam, even if we need to do some manual work ourselves.