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Removal instructions for APSearch

- - - - - QXSearch

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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is APSearch?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that APSearch 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 redirects the searches of the most popualr search engine to a site of their own.

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

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


and these warnings during install:




You will see this icon in your Chrome menu-bar:


How did APSearch get on my computer?

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


after a redirect from their website:


How do I remove APSearch?

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 APSearch?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes APSearch 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 the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the APSearch hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

CHR Extension: (APSearch) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp [2019-07-12]
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\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0
       Adds the file background.js"="7/10/2019 2:43 PM, 6680 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 7351 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 404 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="7/10/2019 2:42 PM, 1645 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\icons
       Adds the file icon128.png"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 2188 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon48.png"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 253 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp
       Adds the file 000003.log"="7/12/2019 8:45 AM, 99 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp
       Adds the file APSearch.ico"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 162813 bytes, A
       Adds the file APSearch.ico.md5"="7/12/2019 8:43 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp"="REG_SZ", "EB8D4E10636890E38F7E62AB62FE8BC1ED3A653E73CE4BBEEDA66975B2616206"
Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 7/12/19
Scan Time: 8:53 AM
Log File: b57283b2-a471-11e9-9afc-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.586
Update Package Version: 1.0.11516
License: Premium

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

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 236236
Threats Detected: 19
Threats Quarantined: 19
Time Elapsed: 5 min, 51 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: 1
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 5
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\icons, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516

File: 13
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\000003.log, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\CURRENT, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\LOCK, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\LOG, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\icons\icon128.png, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\icons\icon48.png, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516
PUP.Optional.QXSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nhilifbgiamnlhfdmihfbamjbhhhonjp\3.9_0\background.js, Quarantined, [351], [676735],1.0.11516

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 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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