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What is Utilitool Default Search?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Utilitool Default Search 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 is a search hijacker for Chrome.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Utilitool Default Search?

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 you will see this icon in your Chrome menu-bar:

icons.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

How did Utilitool Default Search get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was downloaded from the webstore:

webstore.png

after a redirect from their website:

website.png

How do I remove Utilitool Default Search?

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 Utilitool Default Search?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Utilitool Default Search completely.

How would the full version of Malwarebytes 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 would have protected you against the Utilitool Default Search hijacker. It would have blocked the domain of the publisher, giving you a chance to stop the installation.

 

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

 

CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.utilitooltech.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=utilitool&barcodeid=522780000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> utilitool
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://suggest.utilitooltech.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (Utilitool Search) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei [2018-09-28]

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\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0
       Adds the file closer.js"="8/7/2018 11:31 AM, 15 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 2278 bytes, A
       Adds the file tab.html"="8/7/2018 11:31 AM, 165 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 794 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="8/16/2018 1:11 PM, 2253 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 2900 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 326 bytes, A
       Adds the file 32x32.png"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 669 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 1296 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="8/16/2018 1:23 PM, 30299 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="8/7/2018 11:31 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei
       Adds the file Utilitool Default Search.ico"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 177486 bytes, A
       Adds the file Utilitool Default Search.ico.md5"="9/28/2018 9:07 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei"="REG_SZ", "544D01F23EF342B050D33FD37DE568751F6238D9E2F89044A3398DABB5514A8F"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 9/28/18
Scan Time: 9:20 AM
Log File: f948fbc7-c2ee-11e8-a037-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.5.1.2522
Components Version: 1.0.441
Update Package Version: 1.0.7055
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: 239288
Threats Detected: 19
Threats Quarantined: 19
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 35 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: 6
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images\icons, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\scripts, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\MHKGOMFFPGDLPGMGGGHAMBIAKJJNFFEI, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055

File: 13
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\MHKGOMFFPGDLPGMGGGHAMBIAKJJNFFEI\1.0.6_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images\icons\128x128.png, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images\icons\16x16.png, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images\icons\32x32.png, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\images\icons\64x64.png, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\scripts\background.js, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\scripts\sitecontent.js, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\closer.js, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055
PUP.Optional.UtilToolTech, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\mhkgomffpgdlpgmggghambiakjjnffei\1.0.6_0\tab.html, Quarantined, [14374], [520404],1.0.7055

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 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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