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Removal instructions for FlowAds

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#1
Metallica

Metallica

    Spyware Veteran

  • GeekU Moderator
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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is FlowAds?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that FlowAds is a browser 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 particualr one adds advertisements to Google search results.

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

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

main.png

You may have noticed these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

How did FlowAds 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 FlowAds?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this search hijacker.
  • 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 FlowAds?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes FlowAds completely.
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 FlowAds hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

protection1.png


protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

CHR Extension: (FlowAds) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi [2021-10-19]
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\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0
       Adds the file 128.png"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 2214 bytes, A
       Adds the file background.js"="10/13/2021 3:39 PM, 3026 bytes, A
       Adds the file features.js"="10/13/2021 4:16 PM, 9239 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 11794 bytes, A
       Adds the file purify.min.js"="12/18/2020 6:12 PM, 17834 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\da
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\de
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 211 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\en
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\es
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 230 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\fi
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\fr
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\it
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 212 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\nl
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 213 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\no
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\pt_BR
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 224 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\sv
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_locales\zh_TW
       Adds the file messages.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\3.5.14_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 630 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="10/13/2021 4:28 PM, 3268 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi
       Adds the file 000003.log"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 108 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 369 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="10/19/2021 10:29 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi"="REG_SZ", "AF9BF8A2AE1909679B210907BBAFB9666E5BC1C3F68A2A3F4AA74D90C93E342B"
Malwarebytes log:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 10/19/21
Scan Time: 10:38 AM
Log File: e8c9d2c2-30b7-11ec-bf5c-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.4.8.137
Components Version: 1.0.1474
Update Package Version: 1.0.46108
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: 259427
Threats Detected: 10
Threats Quarantined: 10
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 14 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
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , , 

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 2
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\EXTENSIONS\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, 1.0.46108, , ame, , , 

File: 7
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 2395, 989076, , , , , 8CA0B8FC9DD4F12FABEB42323F0C57D6, 4A1435263D679FD3E7FD2A8ECBCEF4D952330EF28523425C9078D6EE1E0D9631
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 2395, 989076, , , , , EA8E99EDE483038C75D5C72F9AAB3BF1, 8FE187BE82B8D73801CECC54600C3214E43BC0F5621A61320A490B1EF3B75452
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\000003.log, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , 0E7F5CB8169C919511AEB5DAA81D3322, D7970DB92FD0886E5B1B81D1A5879BB23F10D551E47DF2F995C951F056363C1C
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\CURRENT, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\LOCK, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\LOG, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , 256CE859141CB9DB4188A3C234FA8BB1, 8058F13B210FEBC17F3186175BB421C4AEBF2E0950E5E6D7B2ADAB171777DF7E
PUP.Optional.FlowAds, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\manpibbmfnlgdidpnmejijggbgmaidoi\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 2395, 989076, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4

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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