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What is Privacy Search Plus?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Privacy Search Plus is a forced extension.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Privacy Search Plus?

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

main.png

and these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

warning3.png

warning4.png

and these warnings after install:

warning5.png

warning6.png

warning7.png

How did Privacy Search Plus get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was a forced Chrome extension.

How do I remove Privacy Search Plus?

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 Privacy Search Plus?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes Privacy Search Plus completely.
  • You may have to remove the Chrome Extension manually under Tools > More Tools > Extensions. Click on the bin behind the Privacy Search Plus entry and confirm Remove in the prompt.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

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

We try to protect our customers from forced Extension by blocking the sites that spread them:

protection2.png

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:
 
 CHR Extension: (Privacy Search Plus) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl [2017-08-10]
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\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 1453 bytes, A
       Adds the file options.js"="10/27/2016 5:58 PM, 1512 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 1846 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="11/23/2016 2:54 PM, 2820 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about
       Adds the file index.html"="11/23/2016 2:49 PM, 2079 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\css
       Adds the file style.css"="10/26/2016 1:39 PM, 3810 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\img
       Adds the file close.png"="10/20/2016 4:13 PM, 1109 bytes, A
       Adds the file setting.png"="10/20/2016 4:13 PM, 322 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images
       Adds the file icon128.png"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 4726 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon38.png"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 1349 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon48.png"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 1756 bytes, A
       Adds the file logo_disable.png"="11/23/2016 2:51 PM, 17754 bytes, A
       Adds the file logo_enable.png"="11/23/2016 2:50 PM, 2820 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="11/23/2016 2:49 PM, 30781 bytes, A
       Adds the file foreground.js"="11/23/2016 2:49 PM, 27684 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl
       Adds the file 000003.log"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="8/10/2017 12:02 PM, 41 bytes, A
Malwarebytes log:
 
Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 8/10/17
Scan Time: 12:28 PM
Log File: mbamPrivateSearch.txt
Administrator: Yes

-Software Information-
Version: 3.1.2.1733
Components Version: 1.0.160
Update Package Version: 1.0.2551
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: 321318
Threats Detected: 29
Threats Quarantined: 29
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 22 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Enabled
PUM: Enabled

-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: 9
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\LOCAL EXTENSION SETTINGS\KHMHEDBBLHEJONLHEDMEJHFCDJEJCODL, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389265],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\css, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\img, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\_metadata, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\scripts, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\KHMHEDBBLHEJONLHEDMEJHFCDJEJCODL, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551

File: 20
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\000003.log, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389265],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\CURRENT, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389265],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\LOCK, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389265],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\LOG, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389265],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\MANIFEST-000001, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389265],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\KHMHEDBBLHEJONLHEDMEJHFCDJEJCODL\1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\css\style.css, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\img\close.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\img\setting.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\about\index.html, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images\icon128.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images\icon38.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images\icon48.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images\logo_disable.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\images\logo_enable.png, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\scripts\background.js, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\scripts\foreground.js, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551
PUP.Optional.PrivateSearch, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\khmhedbblhejonlhedmejhfcdjejcodl\1.0_0\options.js, Delete-on-Reboot, [466], [389262],1.0.2551

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)
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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