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Removal instructions for Discrete Search

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#1
Metallica

Metallica

    Spyware Veteran

  • GeekU Moderator
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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is Discrete Search?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Discrete Search is a search hijacker. These so-called "hijackers" manipulate your browser(s), for example to change your startpage or searchscopes, so that the affected browser visits their site or one of their choice.
This particular one targets both Chrome and Firefox users, but the Firefox add-on no longer installs:

warning1.png

For those that alre4ady had it installed, Malwarebytes detects the add-on generically as PUP.Optional.SearchFF.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Discrete Search?

You may see this entry in your list of installed Chrome extensions:

main.png

and these warnings during install:

warning2.png

warning3.png

warning4.png

You will see this icon in your Chrome menu-bar:

icons.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

How did Discrete Search get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was downloaded from the webstore:

webstore.png

and this is their website:

website.png

How do I remove Discrete Search?

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 Discrete Search?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes Discrete Search completely.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

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

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://www.discretesearch.com/encsearch?q={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> ds
CHR Extension: (Discrete Search) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc [2019-07-04]
Alterations 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\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 2112 bytes, A
       Adds the file popup.html"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 2092 bytes, A
       Adds the file settings.html"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 12390 bytes, A
       Adds the file util.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 4917 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 4099 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 3285 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\css
       Adds the file tooltip.css"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 1355 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds
       Adds the file icon128.png"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 8242 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16.png"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 754 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16_disabled.png"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 709 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon48.png"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 2788 bytes, A
       Adds the file input-checked.png"="10/5/2017 10:33 AM, 318 bytes, A
       Adds the file input-unchecked.png"="10/5/2017 10:33 AM, 154 bytes, A
       Adds the file si-logo.png"="10/5/2017 10:33 AM, 30122 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib
       Adds the file bg.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 57140 bytes, A
       Adds the file jquery.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 115205 bytes, A
       Adds the file label.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 8725 bytes, A
       Adds the file popup.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 2640 bytes, A
       Adds the file savesettings.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 4496 bytes, A
       Adds the file warn-user-of-potential-redirect.js"="10/12/2017 11:17 AM, 7094 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc
       Adds the file 000003.log"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="7/4/2019 9:08 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc"="REG_SZ", "A7CCAA5DA11D3B64A3819D6591B88F4ADFA146FAC50957ABBA79449D58647267"

Malwarebytes log:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 7/4/19
Scan Time: 9:18 AM
Log File: db62083c-9e2b-11e9-b93f-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.7.1.2839
Components Version: 1.0.586
Update Package Version: 1.0.11398
License: Premium

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

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 236424
Threats Detected: 36
Threats Quarantined: 36
Time Elapsed: 5 min, 50 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Enabled
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: 1
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 8
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\css, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\OJHNMOJGMOIKEAMDKAADCEBHOKJHMHLC, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398

File: 27
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\000003.log, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\CURRENT, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\LOCK, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\LOG, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\OJHNMOJGMOIKEAMDKAADCEBHOKJHMHLC\2.1.4_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\css\tooltip.css, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\icon128.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\icon16.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\icon16_disabled.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\icon48.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\input-checked.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\input-unchecked.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\img\ds\si-logo.png, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib\bg.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib\jquery.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib\label.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib\popup.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib\savesettings.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\lib\warn-user-of-potential-redirect.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\popup.html, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\settings.html, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398
PUP.Optional.DiscreteSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ojhnmojgmoikeamdkaadcebhokjhmhlc\2.1.4_0\util.js, Quarantined, [4621], [351131],1.0.11398

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)
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We use different ways of protecting your computer(s):
  • Dynamically Blocks Malware Sites & Servers
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