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Removal instructions for Highlighted Words Counter

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Metallica

Metallica

    Spyware Veteran

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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is Highlighted Words Counter?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Highlighted Words Counter is adware. These adware applications display advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing.
This one is capable of disabling other Chrome extensions.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Highlighted Words Counter?

You may see these warnings during install:

website.png

warning1.png

warning2.png

and this Chrome extension:

main.png

How did Highlighted Words Counter get on my computer?

Adware applications use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was stalled by the website, but it was also available in the webstore:

webstore.png

How do I remove Highlighted Words Counter?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.
  • Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  • Double-click mb3-setup-consumer-{version}.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • Then click Finish.
  • Once the program has fully updated, select Scan Now on the Dashboard. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  • If another update of the definitions is available, it will be implemented before the rest of the scanning procedure.
  • When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  • Restart your computer when prompted to do so.
Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of Highlighted Words Counter?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes Highlighted Words Counter completely.
  • If you are using an older version of Malwarebytes, you may have to remove the Chrome extension manually under Tools > More Tools > Extensions. Click on the bin behind the Highlighted Words Counter entry and confirm Remove in the prompt.
  • Check your Chrome extensions to see if any were disabled by t his extension. Especially adblockers annd privacy guards.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

We hope our application and this guide have helped you eradicate this adware.

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the Highlighted Words Counter adware. It would have blocked their domain.

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:
 CHR Extension: (Highlighted Words Counter) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf [2018-01-26]
Significant changes made by the installer:
File system details [View: All details] (Selection)
---------------------------------------------------
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0
       Adds the file background.js"="8/3/2017 1:45 PM, 3855 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_256.png"="8/3/2017 1:45 PM, 590 bytes, A
       Adds the file jquery.js"="8/3/2017 1:45 PM, 88396 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 1549 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 1332 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="8/4/2017 1:49 PM, 2331 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons
       Adds the file icon_128.png"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 9616 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_16.png"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 758 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_256.png"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 20258 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_32.png"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 68 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_48.png"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 3025 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_64.png"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 4018 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf
       Adds the file 000003.log"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="1/26/2018 9:19 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf"="REG_SZ", "D8629036285AFBA4F3A4F64F2C8672B41DE8A9AF7C02C5AF5CAA35EC7B8D8CC3"

Malwarebytes log:
Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 1/26/18
Scan Time: 9:24 AM
Log File: 46bcbbf6-0272-11e8-9439-080027750297.json
Administrator: Yes

-Software Information-
Version: 3.3.1.2183
Components Version: 1.0.262
Update Package Version: 1.0.3789
License: Premium

-System Information-
OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: {computername}\{username}

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 243002
Threats Detected: 24
Threats Quarantined: 24
Time Elapsed: 7 min, 43 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Detect
PUM: Detect

-Scan Details-
Process: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Module: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Key: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Value: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 5
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\EXTENSIONS\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789

File: 19
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons\icon_128.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons\icon_16.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons\icon_256.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons\icon_32.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons\icon_48.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icons\icon_64.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\background.js, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\icon_256.png, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\jquery.js, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\0.1.0_0\manifest.json, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\000003.log, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\CURRENT, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\LOCK, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\LOG, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789
PUP.Optional.HLWordsCounter, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\npdcnpbajenoklbcdlgpgmdcfbkdndgf\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, [8206], [483353],1.0.3789

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)
As mentioned before the full version of Malwarebytes could have protected your computer against this threat.
We use different ways of protecting your computer(s):
  • Dynamically Blocks Malware Sites & Servers
  • Malware Execution Prevention
Save yourself the hassle and get protected.
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