Adware.SearchEngineHijack

Short bio

Adware.SearchEngineHijack is Malwarebytes’ detection name for a family of search hijackers that display advertisements in their search results.

Symptoms

All users may see extra sponsored advertisments on top of their search results. Chrome users may have noticed an extension promising faster, more secure, and/or more private searching.

Adware.SearchEngineHijack webstore

Adware.SearchEngineHijack as promoted in the webstore

Type and source of infection

Adware.SearchEngineHijack is usually installed by users due to promises of improved searching. The installer then hijacks the search results to a domain that belongs to the threat-actors, which will show sponsored results.

Protection

Malwarebytes protects users by blocking acces to the domains that spread and promote these extensions.

searchdimension.com block

Malwarebytes blocks the domain searchdimension.com

Remediation

Malwarebytes can detect and remove Adware.SearchEngineHijack without further user interaction.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mb3-setup-consumer-{version}.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. Then click Finish.
  4. Once the program has fully updated, select Scan Now on the Dashboard. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  5. If another update of the definitions is available, it will be implemented before the rest of the scanning procedure.
  6. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  7. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.

Malwarebytes removal log

A Malwarebytes log of removal will look similar to this:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 9/24/18
Scan Time: 11:21 AM
Log File: 48e4d27b-bfdb-11e8-a4f1-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.5.1.2522
Components Version: 1.0.441
Update Package Version: 1.0.6983
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: 252029
Threats Detected: 17
Threats Quarantined: 17
Time Elapsed: 4 min, 1 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
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\icons, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\MFEIGFDAFONJKMBPFAIDPKMENGGOHPJO, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983

File: 13
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\MFEIGFDAFONJKMBPFAIDPKMENGGOHPJO\1.1.2_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\icons\icon128.png, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\icons\icon48.png, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo\1.1.2_0\background.js, Quarantined, [336], [570731],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Web Data, Replaced, [336], [570730],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Web Data, Replaced, [336], [460701],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Web Data, Replaced, [336], [460701],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Web Data, Replaced, [336], [460701],1.0.6983
Adware.SearchEngineHijack, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Web Data, Replaced, [336], [460701],1.0.6983

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)

Traces/IOCs

You may see these entries in FRST logs:

CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://searchprivacyplus.com/results.php?p=6000&v=400&q={searchTerms}&source=default
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> Secure
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://searchprivacyplus.com/gjson.php?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (Secure) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo

Chrome extensions:
mfeigfdafonjkmbpfaidpkmenggohpjo
dgldcllfgcheelimlbmilnkilnamlhbd
ggnceihnaabghbfmifjmofepelnahpjb

Domains:
searchprivacyplus.com
elastisearch.com
securedsearch.xyz
bettersearch.co
searchdimension.com

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