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What is FF Guarded Searching?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that FF Guarded Searching is a search hijacker and a forced Firefox extension.

How do I know if my computer is affected by FF Guarded Searching?

You may see these warnings during install:




The extension blocks about:addons so the user can not remove the extension manually.
But if you would start Firefox in safe mode, you would see this entry in your list of installed Firefox extensions:


How did FF Guarded Searching get on my computer?
Forced extensions use a typical method for distributing themselves. They keep the user trapped on a site until he gives up and installs the extension.


How do I remove FF Guarded Searching?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this 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 FF Guarded Searching?
  • No, Malwarebytes removes FF Guarded Searching completely.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

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

We protect our customers from these extensions by blocking the sites that spread them:


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

 FF Extension: No Name - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default\Extensions\{abec23c3-478f-4a5b-8a38-68ccd500ec42}.xpi [2018-01-23]
Alterations made by the installer:
File system details [View: All details] (Selection)
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default\browser-extension-data\{abec23c3-478f-4a5b-8a38-68ccd500ec42}
       Adds the file storage.js"="1/23/2018 9:08 AM, 60 bytes, A
    In the existing folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default\extensions
       Adds the file {abec23c3-478f-4a5b-8a38-68ccd500ec42}.xpi"="1/23/2018 9:08 AM, 9517 bytes, A
Malwarebytes log:

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 1/23/18
Scan Time: 9:15 AM
Log File: 82fda85a-0015-11e8-9439-080027750297.json
Administrator: Yes

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.262
Update Package Version: 1.0.3763
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: 242295
Threats Detected: 1
Threats Quarantined: 1
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 21 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
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: 0
(No malicious items detected)

File: 1
PUP.Optional.FFGuardedSearch, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\ROAMING\MOZILLA\FIREFOX\PROFILES\{profile}.default\EXTENSIONS\{ABEC23C3-478F-4A5B-8A38-68CCD500EC42}.XPI, Quarantined, [14953], [481859],1.0.3763

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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