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What is SearchAwesome?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that SearchAwesome is adware. These adware applications display advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing.
This particular one inserts advertisements at the top of your search results.

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

You may see this warning during install:

warning1.png

this icon next to the first inserted search result:

ads.png

and this entry in your list of installed Programs and Features:

warning4.png

How did SearchAwesome get on my computer?

Adware applications use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was installed by a bundler.

How do I remove SearchAwesome?

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 SearchAwesome?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes SearchAwesome completely.

How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

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

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the SearchAwesome adware. It would have blocked the installer before it became too late.

 

protection1.png


and we block the site that hosts the installer:
 

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:
 

() C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe
FF ExtraCheck: C:\Program Files (x86)\mozilla firefox\defaults\pref\secure_cert.js [2018-05-18]
R2 8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699; C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe [349624 2018-05-15] ()
R2 08ad4f1678b0db2b83448f10c5b23057; rundll32.exe C:\Windows\cbqdnjlanjomwlwi.cbq mfAWQUa [X]
R1 ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68; C:\Windows\System32\drivers\ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68.sys [319784 2018-05-15] ()
C:\Windows\cbqdnjlanjomwlwi.cbq
C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699
C:\Windows\c92b3103a49ebb99abf869e8dd17de8f.exe
C:\Windows\system32\Drivers\ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68.sys
C:\Windows\uninstaller.dat

SearchAwesome (HKLM\...\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699) (Version: 13.14.1.236 (i1.0) - SearchAwesome)

Significant changes made by the installer:

File system details [View: All details] (Selection)
---------------------------------------------------
    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699
       Adds the file 04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 349624 bytes, A
       Adds the file c6182f9cb662a9e333002e06810f826d.exe"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 349624 bytes, A
       Adds the file c92b3103a49ebb99abf869e8dd17de8f.exe"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 966656 bytes, A
       Adds the file dbdda1b2ae5292a030f8279af6ca291a.ico"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 16958 bytes, A
       Adds the file df1a166bec69178b887ca05ac8cb37de"="5/18/2018 8:40 AM, 31059 bytes, A
       Adds the file mozcrt19.dll"="8/30/2017 12:51 AM, 718296 bytes, A
       Adds the file nspr4.dll"="8/30/2017 12:51 AM, 169432 bytes, A
       Adds the file nss3.dll"="8/30/2017 12:51 AM, 364544 bytes, A
       Adds the file plc4.dll"="8/30/2017 12:51 AM, 20440 bytes, A
       Adds the file plds4.dll"="8/30/2017 12:51 AM, 17368 bytes, A
       Adds the file service.dat"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 2882605 bytes, A
       Adds the file service_64.dat"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 2882605 bytes, A
       Adds the file softokn3.dll"="8/30/2017 12:51 AM, 372736 bytes, A
       Adds the file WBE_uninstall.dat"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 588150 bytes, A
    In the existing folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\defaults\pref
       Adds the file secure_cert.js"="5/18/2018 8:40 AM, 50 bytes, A
    In the existing folder C:\Windows
       Adds the file c92b3103a49ebb99abf869e8dd17de8f.exe"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 1071104 bytes, A
       Adds the file cbqdnjlanjomwlwi.cbq"="5/18/2018 8:40 AM, 1121280 bytes, A
       Adds the file uninstaller.dat"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 47250 bytes, A
    In the existing folder C:\Windows\System32\drivers
       Adds the file ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68.sys"="5/15/2018 1:56 AM, 319784 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Windows\SysWOW64\SSL
       Adds the file 776400a6c01929dd 2.cer"="5/18/2018 8:40 AM, 776 bytes, A
       Adds the file cert.db"="5/18/2018 8:40 AM, 0 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AppID\56BF5154-0B48-4ADB-902A-6C8B12E270D9]
       "LocalService"="REG_SZ", "8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699]
       "DisplayIcon"="REG_SZ", "C:\Windows\c92b3103a49ebb99abf869e8dd17de8f.exe"
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "SearchAwesome"
       "DisplayVersion"="REG_SZ", "13.14.1.236 (i1.0)"
       "InstallLocation"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699"
       "Publisher"="REG_SZ", "SearchAwesome"
       "UninstallString"="REG_SZ", "C:\Windows\c92b3103a49ebb99abf869e8dd17de8f.exe"
       "URLInfoAbout"="REG_SZ", "https://mansactechnology.com"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\MRT]
       "DontOfferThroughWUAU"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "DontReportInfectionInformation"="REG_DWORD", 1
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SrcAAAesom Browser Enhancer]
       "aid"="REG_SZ", "3673"
       "aid2"="REG_SZ", "none"
       "mid"="REG_SZ", "aa7dc494c0e1ce2cb601ad3d08c1b303"
       "ts"="REG_SZ", "1526625622"
       "ts2"="REG_SZ", ""
       "uid"="REG_SZ", "A02624D243B1FDD757E15FCDAA7799F0"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SrcAAAesom Browser Enhancer]
       "aid"="REG_SZ", "3673"
       "aid2"="REG_SZ", "none"
       "mid"="REG_SZ", "aa7dc494c0e1ce2cb601ad3d08c1b303"
       "ts"="REG_SZ", "1526625622"
       "ts2"="REG_SZ", ""
       "uid"="REG_SZ", "A02624D243B1FDD757E15FCDAA7799F0"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\08ad4f1678b0db2b83448f10c5b23057]
       "aid"="REG_SZ", "3673"
       "ErrorControl"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "FailureActions"="REG_BINARY, ..............
       "ImagePath"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "rundll32.exe C:\Windows\cbqdnjlanjomwlwi.cbq mfAWQUa"
       "ObjectName"="REG_SZ", "LocalSystem"
       "Start"="REG_DWORD", 2
       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 16
       "WOW64"="REG_DWORD", 1
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699]
       "DependOnService"="REG_MULTI_SZ, "RPCSS "
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699"
       "ErrorControl"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "FailureActions"="REG_BINARY, <.....................
       "ImagePath"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe"
       "ObjectName"="REG_SZ", "LocalSystem"
       "Start"="REG_DWORD", 2
       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 16
       "WOW64"="REG_DWORD", 1
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68]
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68"
       "ErrorControl"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "Group"="REG_SZ", "PNP_TDI"
       "ImagePath"="REG_EXPAND_SZ, "system32\drivers\ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68.sys"
       "Start"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "WOW64"="REG_DWORD", 1
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68\Enum]
       "0"="REG_SZ", "Root\LEGACY_CEAADF4B92292E7D1264007C289E7A68\0000"
       "Count"="REG_DWORD", 1
       "NextInstance"="REG_DWORD", 1
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\WajIEnhance]
       "affiliate_id"="REG_SZ", "3673"
       "unique_id"="REG_SZ", "A02624D243B1FDD757E15FCDAA7799F0"

Malwarebytes log:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 5/18/18
Scan Time: 8:54 AM
Log File: 5def4e4f-5a68-11e8-83e7-080027235d76.json
Administrator: Yes

-Software Information-
Version: 3.3.1.2183
Components Version: 1.0.262
Update Package Version: 1.0.5154
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: 239773
Threats Detected: 44
Threats Quarantined: 44
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 50 sec

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

-Scan Details-
Process: 1
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154

Module: 2
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Wajam, C:\WINDOWS\CBQDNJLANJOMWLWI.CBQ, Quarantined, [436], [519606],1.0.5154

Registry Key: 12
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKCU\SOFTWARE\WajIEnhance, Quarantined, [210], [244670],1.0.5154
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\NLASVC\PARAMETERS\INTERNET\MANUALPROXIES, Quarantined, [210], [-1],0.0.0
Adware.SearchAwesome, HKLM\SOFTWARE\SrcAAAesom Browser Enhancer, Quarantined, [7358], [424837],1.0.5154
Adware.Wajam, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\08ad4f1678b0db2b83448f10c5b23057, Quarantined, [436], [519606],1.0.5154
Adware.SearchAwesome, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\SrcAAAesom Browser Enhancer, Quarantined, [7358], [424837],1.0.5154
Adware.SearchAwesome, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699, Quarantined, [7358], [424836],1.0.5154
MachineLearning/Anomalous.100%, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699, Quarantined, [0], [392687],1.0.5154
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\WOW6432NODE\APPID\56BF5154-0B48-4ADB-902A-6C8B12E270D9, Quarantined, [210], [170024],1.0.5154
Adware.Wajam, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\ceaadf4b92292e7d1264007c289e7a68, Quarantined, [436], [511749],1.0.5154
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\CLASSES\APPID\56BF5154-0B48-4ADB-902A-6C8B12E270D9, Quarantined, [210], [170024],1.0.5154
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\APPID\56BF5154-0B48-4ADB-902A-6C8B12E270D9, Quarantined, [210], [170024],1.0.5154

Registry Value: 7
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKU\S-1-5-18\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\INTERNET SETTINGS|PROXYENABLE, Quarantined, [210], [-1],0.0.0
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\INTERNET SETTINGS|PROXYENABLE, Quarantined, [210], [-1],0.0.0
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\INTERNET SETTINGS|PROXYENABLE, Quarantined, [210], [-1],0.0.0
PUP.Optional.Wajam, HKU\.DEFAULT\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\INTERNET SETTINGS|PROXYENABLE, Quarantined, [210], [-1],0.0.0
Adware.Wajam, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\08ad4f1678b0db2b83448f10c5b23057|IMAGEPATH, Quarantined, [436], [519606],1.0.5154
Adware.SearchAwesome, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699|DISPLAYNAME, Quarantined, [7358], [424836],1.0.5154
Adware.SearchAwesome.Generic, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699|PUBLISHER, Quarantined, [7280], [437519],1.0.5154

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 1
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\PROGRAM FILES\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154

File: 21
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\PROGRAM FILES\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\WBE_uninstall.dat, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\04146af46813e501bb7ca87370e1aaeb.exe, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\c6182f9cb662a9e333002e06810f826d.exe, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\c92b3103a49ebb99abf869e8dd17de8f.exe, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\dbdda1b2ae5292a030f8279af6ca291a.ico, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\df1a166bec69178b887ca05ac8cb37de, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\mozcrt19.dll, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\nspr4.dll, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\nss3.dll, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\plc4.dll, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\plds4.dll, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\service.dat, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\service_64.dat, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
Adware.Social2Search.EncJob, C:\Program Files\8b99190a17e0232dfed348aad6c4a699\softokn3.dll, Quarantined, [5128], [415982],1.0.5154
PUP.Optional.FFHijacker.Generic, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\MOZILLA FIREFOX\DEFAULTS\PREF\SECURE_CERT.JS, Quarantined, [5383], [505085],1.0.5154
Adware.Wajam, C:\WINDOWS\CBQDNJLANJOMWLWI.CBQ, Quarantined, [436], [519606],1.0.5154
MachineLearning/Anomalous.100%, C:\WINDOWS\C92B3103A49EBB99ABF869E8DD17DE8F.EXE, Quarantined, [0], [392687],1.0.5154
Adware.Wajam, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\CEAADF4B92292E7D1264007C289E7A68.SYS, Quarantined, [436], [511749],1.0.5154
Adware.Zdengo, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\UPDATE.EXE, Quarantined, [7948], [522251],1.0.5154
Generic.Malware/Suspicious, C:\DOWNLOADS\SETUP2.EXE, Quarantined, [0], [392686],1.0.5154
MachineLearning/Anomalous.100%, C:\WINDOWS\C92B3103A49EBB99ABF869E8DD17DE8F.EXE, Quarantined, [0], [392687],1.0.5154

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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