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Removal instructions for WebSearcher

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What is WebSearcher?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that WebSearcher 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.

The hijack in this case is performed by a proxy and uses locked proxy settings in Internet Explorer, Chrome and FireFox.

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

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

warning4.png

and these warnings during install:

main.png

warning1.png

these proxy settings in Internet Explorer and FireFox (options greyed out):

warning2.png

warning3.png

How did WebSearcher get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was bundled with other software (e.g. Video Codex).

How do I remove WebSearcher?

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 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 WebSearcher?
  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes WebSearcher 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 WebSearcher hijacker. It would have warned you before the application could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

protection1.png

Technical details for experts

Signs in a HijackThis log:

O6 - HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel presentO23 - Service: Service.exe - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe
Possible signs in FRST logs:

 () C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe () C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Sniffer.exe GroupPolicy: Restriction - Chrome <======= ATTENTION CHR HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google: Restriction <======= ATTENTION HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings: [ProxySettingsPerUser] 0 <======= ATTENTION (Restriction - ProxySettings) ProxyEnable: [HKLM] => Proxy is enabled. ProxyEnable: [HKLM-x32] => Proxy is enabled. ProxyServer: [HKLM] => 127.0.0.1:9091 ProxyServer: [HKLM-x32] => 127.0.0.1:9091 AutoConfigURL: [HKLM] => 127.0.0.1:9091 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer: Restriction <======= ATTENTION FF ExtraCheck: C:\Program Files (x86)\mozilla firefox\defaults\pref\proxy-lockdown.js [2015-12-30] <==== ATTENTION (Points to *.cfg file) FF ExtraCheck: C:\Program Files (x86)\mozilla firefox\mozilla.cfg [2015-12-30] <==== ATTENTION R2 Service.exe; C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe [227840 2015-11-07] () [File not signed] C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcherWebSearcher (HKLM-x32\...\WebSearcherService) (Version: 1.0.3 - WebSearcher)() C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\fiddlercorewrapper.dll
Alterations made by the installer:

File system details [View: All details] (Selection)---------------------------------------------------    In the existing folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox       Adds the file mozilla.cfg"="30/12/2015 09:40, 154 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser       Alters the file chrome.manifest        26/05/2015 01:22, 40 bytes, A ==> 30/12/2015 09:40, 84 bytes, A       Adds the file fiddler-root.cer"="30/12/2015 09:40, 905 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\components       Adds the file WEBSService.js"="02/07/2015 16:02, 13242 bytes, A       Adds the file WEBSService.manifest"="01/07/2015 09:35, 462 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\defaults\pref       Adds the file proxy-lockdown.js"="30/12/2015 09:40, 89 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher       Adds the file uninstall.exe"="30/12/2015 09:40, 79607 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin       Adds the file config.json"="30/06/2015 13:52, 110 bytes, A       Adds the file FiddlerCore.dll"="09/06/2015 10:30, 267776 bytes, A       Adds the file FiddlerCoreWrapper.dll"="07/11/2015 09:00, 11264 bytes, A       Adds the file fiddler-root.cer"="30/12/2015 09:40, 905 bytes, A       Adds the file makecert.exe"="09/06/2015 10:30, 55632 bytes, A       Adds the file script.js"="03/10/2015 09:56, 19017 bytes, A       Adds the file Service.exe"="07/11/2015 09:00, 227840 bytes, A       Adds the file Sniffer.exe"="07/11/2015 09:00, 94208 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\ProgramData       Adds the file ntuser.pol"="30/12/2015 09:40, 376 bytes, RHSA    In the existing folder C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy       Adds the file GPT.INI"="30/12/2015 09:40, 127 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine       Adds the file Registry.pol"="30/12/2015 09:40, 126 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\User    In the existing folder C:\Windows\SysWOW64\GroupPolicy       Adds the file gpt.ini"="30/12/2015 09:40, 11 bytes, ARegistry details [View: All details] (Selection)------------------------------------------------    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]       "ProxyEnable"="REG_DWORD", 1       "ProxyOverride"="REG_SZ", "<local>"       "ProxyServer"="REG_SZ", "127.0.0.1:9091"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome]       "ProxyMode"="REG_SZ", "system"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel]       "AutoConfig"="REG_DWORD", 1       "Proxy"="REG_DWORD", 1    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]       "EnableLegacyAutoProxyFeatures"="REG_DWORD", 1       "ProxySettingsPerUser"="REG_DWORD", 0    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Tracing\Sniffer_RASAPI32]       "ConsoleTracingMask"="REG_DWORD", -65536       "EnableConsoleTracing"="REG_DWORD", 0       "EnableFileTracing"="REG_DWORD", 0       "FileDirectory"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "%windir%\tracing"       "FileTracingMask"="REG_DWORD", -65536       "MaxFileSize"="REG_DWORD", 1048576    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Tracing\Sniffer_RASMANCS]       "ConsoleTracingMask"="REG_DWORD", -65536       "EnableConsoleTracing"="REG_DWORD", 0       "EnableFileTracing"="REG_DWORD", 0       "FileDirectory"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "%windir%\tracing"       "FileTracingMask"="REG_DWORD", -65536       "MaxFileSize"="REG_DWORD", 1048576    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]       "ProxyEnable"="REG_DWORD", 1       "ProxyOverride"="REG_SZ", "<local>"       "ProxyServer"="REG_SZ", "127.0.0.1:9091"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\WebSearcherService]       "DisplayIcon"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\uninstall.exe"       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "WebSearcher"       "DisplayVersion"="REG_SZ", "1.0.3"       "InstDir"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher"       "NoModify"="REG_DWORD", 1       "NoRepair"="REG_DWORD", 1       "Publisher"="REG_SZ", "WebSearcher"       "UninstallString"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\uninstall.exe"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VebaSearch]       "AffId"="REG_SZ", "99-291370282"       "GUID"="REG_SZ", "{7FACA666-E839-4247-B7A5-D9231B7BCDF9}"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Service.exe]       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "Service.exe"       "ErrorControl"="REG_DWORD", 1       "ImagePath"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe"       "ObjectName"="REG_SZ", "LocalSystem"       "Start"="REG_DWORD", 2       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 16       "WOW64"="REG_DWORD", 1
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware log:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malwarewww.malwarebytes.orgScan Date: 30/12/2015Scan Time: 09:53Logfile: mbamWebSearcher.txtAdministrator: YesVersion: 2.2.0.1020Malware Database: v2015.12.30.01Rootkit Database: v2015.12.26.01License: PremiumMalware Protection: DisabledMalicious Website Protection: EnabledSelf-protection: DisabledOS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1CPU: x64File System: NTFSUser: {username}Scan Type: Threat ScanResult: CompletedObjects Scanned: 314078Time Elapsed: 4 min, 54 secMemory: EnabledStartup: EnabledFilesystem: EnabledArchives: EnabledRootkits: EnabledHeuristics: EnabledPUP: EnabledPUM: EnabledProcesses: 2PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe, 3036, Delete-on-Reboot, [53e674378a01fa3cd73f5dbc010360a0]PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Sniffer.exe, 2132, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937]Modules: 2PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\FiddlerCore.dll, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\FiddlerCoreWrapper.dll, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], Registry Keys: 3PUP.Optional.VebaSearch, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\VebaSearch, Quarantined, [c673d9d24b40290d38ea9b3317ec8c74], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.ChrPRST, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\WebSearcherService, Quarantined, [66d337746a21d363b45ed84141c3ce32], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\SERVICE.EXE, Quarantined, [53e674378a01fa3cd73f5dbc010360a0], Registry Values: 1PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\SERVICE.EXE|ImagePath, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe, Quarantined, [53e674378a01fa3cd73f5dbc010360a0]Registry Data: 0(No malicious items detected)Folders: 2PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], Files: 16PUP.Optional.WebFox, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Video Codex\Codex.exe, Quarantined, [b485cdde008b102640f9f2d7a8598779], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher, C:\Users\{username}\Desktop\WebSearcher.exe, Quarantined, [c574a90217746dc9cc6e1aaff20fd030], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.ChrPRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\fiddler-root.cer, Quarantined, [3aff8a21c5c6e94da7691bfee81cc43c], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Service.exe, Delete-on-Reboot, [53e674378a01fa3cd73f5dbc010360a0], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.ChrPRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\chrome.manifest, Good: (), Bad: (manifest components/WEBSService.manifest), Replaced,[1e1bcae1addeff377e813d8236ce42be]PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.ChrPRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\components\WEBSService.js, Quarantined, [15245754e5a6b97d5e3b6e562cd8bc44], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.ChrPRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\components\WEBSService.manifest, Quarantined, [7ebbb1fa8209c274465400c4ed172cd4], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\mozilla.cfg, Quarantined, [f1488e1d414add5913887c48aa5a1ae6], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\script.js, Quarantined, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\config.json, Quarantined, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\fiddler-root.cer, Quarantined, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\FiddlerCore.dll, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\FiddlerCoreWrapper.dll, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\makecert.exe, Quarantined, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\bin\Sniffer.exe, Delete-on-Reboot, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], PUP.Optional.WebSearcher.PrxySvrRST, C:\Program Files (x86)\WebSearcher\uninstall.exe, Quarantined, [0e2b802bc3c89a9c6933fcc8b351c937], Physical Sectors: 0(No malicious items detected)(end)
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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