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Removal instructions for PDFSearchWeb

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Metallica

Metallica

    Spyware Veteran

  • GeekU Moderator
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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is PDFSearchWeb?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that PDFSearchWeb 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 is a search hijacker and uses web push notifications. It also adds advertisements to your search results in the form of recommended searches.

recommendations.png

How do I know if my computer is affected by PDFSearchWeb?

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

main.png

and these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

warning3.png

warning4.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

How did PDFSearchWeb get on my computer?

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

webstore.png

after a redirect from their website:

website.png

How do I remove PDFSearchWeb?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.
  • Please download Malwarebytes for Windows to your desktop.
  • Double-click MBSetup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • When your Malwarebytes for Windows installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
  • Click on the Get started button.
  • Click Scan to start a Threat Scan.
  • When the scan is finished click Quarantine to remove the found threats.
  • Reboot the system if prompted to complete the removal process.
Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of PDFSearchWeb?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes PDFSearchWeb completely.
  • If you have allowed the notifications you can read here how to disable them.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

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

As you can see below Malwarebytes Browser Guard, and the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the PDFSearchWeb hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

protection1.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

CHR Notifications: Default -> hxxps://install.pdfsearchweb.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.pdfsearchweb.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=pdfsearchweb&barcodeid=586480000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> PDFSearchWeb
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.pdfsearchweb.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (PDFSearchWeb) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi [2021-03-04]
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\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 2084 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 6725 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="11/16/2020 11:09 AM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="11/16/2020 11:09 AM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 2578 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 416 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 1436 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="11/16/2020 11:09 AM, 553439 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="11/16/2020 11:09 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi
       Adds the file 000003.log"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi
       Adds the file PDFSearchWeb.ico"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 165020 bytes, A
       Adds the file PDFSearchWeb.ico.md5"="3/4/2021 8:46 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi"="REG_SZ", "21383C3BCEED4E28CE353D35F37AB55C383F3D6E796A18124C0DE8CF0A38C218"
Malwarebytes log:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 3/4/21
Scan Time: 9:04 AM
Log File: 4d2527fa-7cc0-11eb-9e7c-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.3.0.98
Components Version: 1.0.1173
Update Package Version: 1.0.37767
License: Premium

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

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 233343
Threats Detected: 12
Threats Quarantined: 12
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 50 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: 1
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 2
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\BLMCJACAOCADBKAOIPPFDHJKNABLOBGI, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, 1.0.37767, , ame, , , 

File: 9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15230, 799722, , , , , 01C6FDC1C96A97A38133B535F53D0D30, E920A84318FD5E518AED4F1856CBF931668DF6EB4D234B3D19A58C99CC4C3232
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15230, 799722, , , , , B07D93683D5433642FFB7A45BEE0F1F8, 83BA83D99DBD7D791D9A3D7C308CFCAE2AE132820C7F31C0642C0ACD357F8A70
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\000003.log, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , E1DE9B412C0C30CDEE59F9E4E63F56DB, 86A2A508B75E0F5CEE3DE285AA84735D8F1ECEB37D333BBFE5232263B612BF3D
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\LOCK, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\LOG, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , A4549DEA968C4980471BA79B2504416B, 3A609EA567AF426E9CD1C3DF641EE9F298A276437D70FC238AF6AE2175357C36
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\blmcjacaocadbkaoippfdhjknablobgi\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\BLMCJACAOCADBKAOIPPFDHJKNABLOBGI\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, 1.0.37767, , ame, , 8E1EDD9316806E38160CE820BA112006, D6F16F705C44BA34A629512B96F7950673D3E0CA8CCA07495ED8765BFE66E2FE
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15847, 832955, 1.0.37767, , ame, , B07D93683D5433642FFB7A45BEE0F1F8, 83BA83D99DBD7D791D9A3D7C308CFCAE2AE132820C7F31C0642C0ACD357F8A70

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 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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