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Removal instructions for Safest Way To Search

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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is Safest Way To Search?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Safest Way To Search 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 one also displays advertisements.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Safest Way To Search?

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


and these warnings during install:



this new startpage:


and you will see this icon in your Chrome toolbar:


How did Safest Way To Search get on my computer?

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


but it was also available in the Webstore:


How do I remove Safest Way To 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 Safest Way To Search?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes Safest Way To Search completely.
  • If your browser was hijacked have a look at our Restore Browser page. You can read there how to fix additional browser redirect methods.
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 the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the Safest Way To Search hijacker. It would have blocked the site that installs the extension, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

CHR HomePage: Default -> search.safestwaytosearch.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxp://search.safestwaytosearch.com/search?q={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> safestwaytosearch.__MSG_url_domain__
CHR Extension: (safestwaytosearch.__MSG_url_domain__) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb [2018-06-01]
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\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0
       Adds the file background.js"="10/30/2017 3:25 PM, 210 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="6/1/2018 9:11 AM, 1557 bytes, A
       Adds the file newtab.html"="10/30/2017 3:23 PM, 381 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="6/1/2018 9:11 AM, 603 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="10/30/2017 3:41 PM, 2227 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images
       Adds the file favicon.ico"="8/15/2017 2:41 PM, 15086 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon.png"="7/28/2017 3:21 PM, 580 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_128.png"="6/1/2018 9:11 AM, 4074 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_16.png"="6/1/2018 9:11 AM, 561 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_48.png"="6/1/2018 9:11 AM, 1584 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_96.png"="6/1/2018 9:11 AM, 6383 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb"="REG_SZ", "FA984F1E186878FE36BD9F0C2E03A6D80DD0CFE1A01F3AE3BF6E4B142180066D"
Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 6/1/18
Scan Time: 9:20 AM
Log File: 47688551-656c-11e8-9ef0-080027235d76.json
Administrator: Yes

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.262
Update Package Version: 1.0.5328
License: Premium

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

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 240856
Threats Detected: 17
Threats Quarantined: 17
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 41 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: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 4
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328

File: 13
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images\favicon.ico, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images\icon.png, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images\icon_128.png, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images\icon_16.png, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images\icon_48.png, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\images\icon_96.png, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\background.js, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328
PUP.Optional.SafestWayToSearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\anlkjhfjpolioohimghchmploocpohhb\0.1.6_0\newtab.html, Quarantined, [14534], [517848],1.0.5328

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

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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