What is Mdm.exe

Machine Debug Manager - Microsoft Development Environment - Microsoft Corporation

File description

Mdm.exe with description Machine Debug Manager is a process file from company Microsoft Corporation belonging to product Microsoft Development Environment.
The file is digitally signed from Microsoft Corporation - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
We do not recommend removing digitally signed files from Microsoft Corporation

What is mdm.exe?
Mdm.exe is the Windows Machine Debug Manager. It is used for debugging scripts in Internet Explorer, as well as debugging code in Microsoft Visual Studio and other Microsoft development environments.

This process is a nonessential process and can safely be killed and disabled. By killing the machine debug manager, however, you will lose the ability to debug scripts in Internet Explorer. The screenshot below illustrates how this process should appear in the task manager:

In the above screenshot, mdm.exe is running as the current user (Mike); however, it can be run as any user.

Dangers of mdm
As this is a relatively common legitimate process with a cryptic name, it is common for virus writers and spyware vendors to disguise their malware as the genuine one.

Some malicious files will have the same name but will be stored somewhere other than in %SystemRoot%\System32. Other malware will use a name that appears similar to it but with slight differences in spelling or with appended digits. The following malware is known to disguise itself as mdm.exe:
  • W32.Sdbot.APE (%SystemRoot%)
    • Sdbot is an IRC backdoor Trojan that spreads via common buffer overlow vulnerabilities.
  • W32.Unubot.B (%SystemRoot%)
    • This is an IRC backdoor Trojan that allows a remote attacker to take over an infected system.
  • W32.Bckdr-QJR (%SystemRoot%)
    • This is an IRC backdoor Trojan that allows a remote attacker to take over an infected system.
  • W32.Agobot.AQ (%SystemRoot%\System32\mdm32.exe)
  • W32.Rbot.AIJ (%SystemRoot%\System32\mdm32.exe)
There is often only one instance of this process running at a given time; however, the presence of multiple instances is not necessarily an indicator of a malware infection.

Common problems
  • You are prompted to debug when browsing some web pages
    • This is normal behavior. If you do not do any debugging, you can safely uninstall the Machine Debug Manager.
  • This process uses 100% CPU time
    • According to Microsoft, this is a known issue. Kill any instances of mdm.exe and delete all TMP files from your Windows directory.
    • If the problem persists, it is safe to uninstall or kill the Machine Debug Manager.

Automatic startup locations

001 Running Processes
002 Autorun registry entries local machine
003 Autorun registry entries Current User
008 Autorun registry entries Default user
009 Autorun registry entries SYSTEM user
010 Installed services
012 Autorun registry entries S-1-5-XX users
191 Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Digital signatures found for this file

25 Microsoft Corporation - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
1 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer

MD5 security rating in our database

1679 files (Not yet rated and not signed)
5 files (Safe and not signed)
29 files (Safe and digitally signed)
Some versions of this filename have not yet been checked for safety.
Warning: Some malware might rename itself to mdm.exe. Always make sure that your file is from a verified publisher.

User ratings for this file

File rating: Average rating of mdm.exe: by 1713 files and users.

Application errors

Fix mdm.exe application error:  Run a FREE registry scan

User comments

Microsoft Visual Studio
This was installed when I installed Office 2003. It is part of the Microsoft Script Editor installation. More info can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321410/en-us

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More system processes

mdm.ocx mdm32.exe MDM32Z.exe
mdm365.exe mdmcc4.dll mdmcls32.exe
mdmdd.exe mdmdroptarget.dll mdmi386.exe
MdmMgr.exe MDMSInventory.exe mdmxsdk.sys

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