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Removal instructions for FreeSearchConverters

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Metallica

Metallica

    Spyware Veteran

  • GeekU Moderator
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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is FreeSearchConverters?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that FreeSearchConverters 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 also uses browser push notifications and changes your default search engine.

notifications.png

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

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 FreeSearchConverters 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 FreeSearchConverters?

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 FreeSearchConverters?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes FreeSearchConverters 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 FreeSearchConverters 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.freesearchconverters.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.freesearchconverters.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=freesearchconverters&barcodeid=590370000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> FreeSearchConverters
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.freesearchconverters.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (FreeSearchConverters) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk [2021-06-25]
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\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 2180 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 6725 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="2/10/2021 1:59 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="2/10/2021 1:59 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 5906 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 592 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 2697 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="2/10/2021 1:59 PM, 553511 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="2/10/2021 1:59 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk
       Adds the file 000003.log"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk
       Adds the file FreeSearchConverters.ico"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 183975 bytes, A
       Adds the file FreeSearchConverters.ico.md5"="6/25/2021 8:59 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk"="REG_SZ", "BE3D71B9F6C3B955211F3D262B25CB7E3E9269622E48C60D7C08D2899C667C97"
Malwarebytes log:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 6/25/21
Scan Time: 9:08 AM
Log File: 23d7ebc2-d584-11eb-9fc1-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.4.0.117
Components Version: 1.0.1344
Update Package Version: 1.0.42213
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: 257554
Threats Detected: 12
Threats Quarantined: 12
Time Elapsed: 1 min, 34 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|fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk, Quarantined, 16607, 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\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\FGLHCCDPKBDIBHAAEDBMPGPKJKPGIFHK, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, 1.0.42213, , ame, , , 

File: 9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16607, 799722, , , , , D678813E01E723575B12CC0FB193D4CB, 312F870E434931C4A7506C7BE083D7EDB76A3538E16B3B765DDD58031ACACEFD
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16607, 799722, , , , , 4CDDD7A15AF5FA8072D4BB72D9D3FBE9, CE0C0C251307C5CF460FB0AD47945EE01F1B79C2A117AEC5D5302FD33EC41363
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\000003.log, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, , , , , 34EC78A40E9F66051CB6EBD013BA9B83, 265C470F81CEC2E5BB7C750BCC045AAFEE2192233DC679771C6818C55E8DEAB2
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\LOCK, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\LOG, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, , , , , 50F30416B1BE39718CBCFF38989AA045, ACAD5D6738C5D99E2398596D72361CED6108206D2E87494A982FD9E7ED120CE9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\fglhccdpkbdibhaaedbmpgpkjkpgifhk\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\FGLHCCDPKBDIBHAAEDBMPGPKJKPGIFHK\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16607, 799722, 1.0.42213, , ame, , 071A834B8A25C588C0CC3056E16A01AE, 240B6D0A0B35A6D4A9AD79D23C7769A6305003189EA921EABB172D02B8A5E0DE
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 201, 832955, 1.0.42213, , ame, , 4CDDD7A15AF5FA8072D4BB72D9D3FBE9, CE0C0C251307C5CF460FB0AD47945EE01F1B79C2A117AEC5D5302FD33EC41363

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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