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Removal instructions for Quick Ref

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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is Quick Ref?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Quick Ref is adware. These adware applications display advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Quick Ref?

You may see this entry in your list of installed programs:


and these advertisements:


During install you may see:


How did Quick Ref get on my computer?

Adware applications use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was bundled with other software.

How do I remove Quick Ref?

Our program Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.
  • Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  • Double-click mbam-setup-version.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:
    • Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
    • Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • If an update is found, you will be prompted to download and install the latest version.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Scan now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  • When the scan is complete , make sure that everything is set to "Quarantine", and click Apply Actions.
  • Reboot your computer if prompted.
Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of Quick Ref?
  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes Quick Ref completely.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware help protect me?

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

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware would have protected you against the Quick Ref adware. It would have warned you before the rogue could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


Technical details for experts

You will see these signs in a HijackThis log:
O23 - Service: Quick Ref Client Service (qrsvc_1.10.0.8) - Quick Ref - C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service\qrsvc.exe
You may see these entries in a FRST log:

 (Quick Ref) C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service\qrsvc.exe
 R2 qrsvc_1.10.0.8; C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service\qrsvc.exe [278592 2015-01-21] (Quick Ref)
 R1 qrnfd_1_10_0_8; C:\Windows\System32\drivers\qrnfd_1_10_0_8.sys [52720 2015-01-21] (Quick Ref)
 () C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8
 (Quick Ref) C:\Windows\system32\Drivers\qrnfd_1_10_0_8.sys
Alterations made by the installer:
File system details  
    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8
       Adds the file terms-of-service.rtf"="1/17/2015 12:53 AM, 24062 bytes, A
       Adds the file Uninstall.exe"="1/21/2015 8:39 PM, 315136 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses
       Adds the file buildcrx-license.txt"="5/19/2014 9:10 PM, 7074 bytes, A
       Adds the file Info-ZIP-license.txt"="5/19/2014 9:10 PM, 2944 bytes, A
       Adds the file JSON-simple-license.txt"="10/30/2014 2:55 AM, 11558 bytes, A
       Adds the file nsJSON-license.txt"="5/19/2014 9:10 PM, 809 bytes, A
       Adds the file Nustache-license.txt"="10/30/2014 2:55 AM, 1079 bytes, A
       Adds the file TaskScheduler-license.txt"="10/30/2014 2:55 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file UAC-license.txt"="5/19/2014 9:10 PM, 956 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service
       Adds the file qrsvc.exe"="1/21/2015 8:39 PM, 278592 bytes, A
    In the existing folder C:\Windows\System32\drivers
       Adds the file qrnfd_1_10_0_8.sys"="1/21/2015 8:38 PM, 52720 bytes, A

Registry details  
       "DisplayIcon"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Uninstall.exe"
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "Quick Ref"
       "DisplayVersion"="REG_SZ", ""
       "NoModify"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "NoRepair"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "Publisher"="REG_SZ", "Quick Ref"
       "UninstallString"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Uninstall.exe"
       "URLInfoAbout"="REG_SZ", "http://www.quickrefapp.com"
       "cr-at"="REG_SZ", ""
       "cr-pid"="REG_SZ", ""
       "cr-ver"="REG_SZ", "39.0.2171.95"
       "dbsr"="REG_SZ", "iexplore"
       "features"="REG_SZ", "0x01000000"
       "ff-at"="REG_SZ", ""
       "ff-pid"="REG_SZ", ""
       "ff-ver"="REG_SZ", "25.0 (en-US)"
       "hid"="REG_SZ", "EAB871D2-7CB3-316A-5E47-5DCF98DEC0A8"
       "ie-at"="REG_SZ", ""
       "ie-pid"="REG_SZ", ""
       "ie-ver"="REG_SZ", "11.0.9600.17501"
       "iid"="REG_SZ", "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"
       "itm"="REG_SZ", "2015-02-03T11:37:29Z"
       "nf-at"="REG_SZ", "CA84E9B0-1CB5-2ADA-A813-E2DBF396627C"
       "nf-pid"="REG_SZ", "9EB3AE2C-47D2-4CC7-BE91-C23A766C7BA2"
       "nid"="REG_SZ", "8D41449E-BF91-4FFA-A606-498E2B5BF005"
       "osn"="REG_SZ", "Windows 7 Ultimate N"
       "ost"="REG_SZ", "x32"
       "osv"="REG_SZ", "6.1.7601"
       "user_sid"="REG_SZ", "S-1-5-21-4016700205-1717049133-1125222536-1001"
       "ver"="REG_SZ", ""
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "qrnfd_1_10_0_8"
       "ErrorControl"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "Group"="REG_SZ", "PNP_TDI"
       "ImagePath"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "system32\drivers\qrnfd_1_10_0_8.sys"
       "Start"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "Tag"="REG_DWORD", 10
       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "0"="REG_SZ", "Root\LEGACY_QRNFD_1_10_0_8\0000"
       "Count"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "NextInstance"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "Description"="REG_SZ", "This service enables Quick Ref on HTTP websites"
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "Quick Ref Client Service"
       "ErrorControl"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "ImagePath"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, ""C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service\qrsvc.exe""
       "ObjectName"="REG_SZ", "LocalSystem"
       "Start"="REG_DWORD", 2
       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 16

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware log:
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Scan Date: 2/3/2015
Scan Time: 12:46:54 PM
Logfile: mbamQuickRef.txt
Administrator: Yes

Malware Database: v2015.02.03.04
Rootkit Database: v2015.01.14.01
License: Free
Malware Protection: Disabled
Malicious Website Protection: Disabled
Self-protection: Disabled

OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x86
File System: NTFS
User: Malwarebytes

Scan Type: Threat Scan
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 290082
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 27 sec

Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Enabled
PUM: Enabled

Processes: 1
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service\qrsvc.exe, 2784, Delete-on-Reboot, [7e92e13988023501875a53c3d23044bc]

Modules: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys: 4
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\qrsvc_1.10.0.8, Quarantined, [7e92e13988023501875a53c3d23044bc], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\qrnfd_1_10_0_8, Quarantined, [799768b291f937ff09d841d57e8401ff], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\QuickRef_1.10.0.8, Quarantined, [ca4681995d2dc670835eab6b7d85af51], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, HKLM\SOFTWARE\QuickRef_1.10.0.8, Quarantined, [8789d34767233204a88a206107fc7888], 

Registry Values: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folders: 3
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8, Delete-on-Reboot, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service, Delete-on-Reboot, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 

Files: 17
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Service\qrsvc.exe, Delete-on-Reboot, [7e92e13988023501875a53c3d23044bc], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Windows\System32\drivers\qrnfd_1_10_0_8.sys, Quarantined, [799768b291f937ff09d841d57e8401ff], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Users\{username}\Desktop\quickref-setup-, Quarantined, [0b0583978efcdd59469b45d14db5867a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\Uninstall.exe, Quarantined, [ca4681995d2dc670835eab6b7d85af51], 
PUP.Optional.Vitruvian.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\vitruvian-installer-hardwareprofile-v0001, Quarantined, [d937b06ab6d4d165b7cfdc2c957043bd], 
PUP.Optional.Vitruvian.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\vitruvian-installer-install-v0003, Quarantined, [26ea3bdfabdf0e28097d9e6afa0b1de3], 
PUP.Optional.Vitruvian.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\vitruvian-installer-processes-v0002, Quarantined, [21ef5ac00b7f65d17610f3150afbda26], 
PUP.Optional.Vitruvian.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\vitruvian-installer-scheduledtasks-v0001, Quarantined, [3dd31208fb8f4ee8533355b343c207f9], 
PUP.Optional.Vitruvian.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\vitruvian-installer-softwareregkeys-v0002, Quarantined, [719f0d0db7d3a88e23635badf80d629e], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\terms-of-service.rtf, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\buildcrx-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\Info-ZIP-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\JSON-simple-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\nsJSON-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\Nustache-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\TaskScheduler-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 
PUP.Optional.QuickRef.A, C:\Program Files\QuickRef_1.10.0.8\3rd Party Licenses\UAC-license.txt, Quarantined, [1000b664eaa0df57f6859de3ad56669a], 

Physical Sectors: 0
(No malicious items detected)

As mentioned before the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 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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