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What is Search By Zooms?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Search By Zooms is a search 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.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Search By Zooms?

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

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

icons.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

How did Search By Zooms get on my computer?

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

webstore.png

promoted by their website:

website.png

How do I remove Search By Zooms?

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 Search By Zooms?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Search By Zooms 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 Search By Zooms hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

 

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

 

CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxp://zooms.searchalgo.com/search/?category=web&s=zds&q={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> My Search
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxp://sug.searchalgo.com/search/index_sg.php?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (My  Search) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh [2019-01-24]

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\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0
       Adds the file background.js"="3/9/2015 9:06 AM, 225 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="1/24/2019 10:14 AM, 1953 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="1/24/2019 10:14 AM, 5270 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="3/10/2015 3:32 PM, 3608 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base
       Adds the file domains.json"="3/8/2015 11:49 AM, 179 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs
       Adds the file base.js"="3/10/2015 2:40 PM, 5502 bytes, A
       Adds the file content-newtab.js"="3/10/2015 3:00 PM, 506 bytes, A
       Adds the file jquery-1.9.1.js"="3/8/2015 11:49 AM, 277978 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products
       Adds the file baseParameters.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 427 bytes, A
       Adds the file espeedcheck_parameters.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 429 bytes, A
       Adds the file espeedcheck_parameters_ds.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 427 bytes, A
       Adds the file espeedcheck_parameters_nt.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 427 bytes, A
       Adds the file gozooms_parameters_ds.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 414 bytes, A
       Adds the file gozooms_parameters_nt.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 396 bytes, A
       Adds the file wiki_parameters.js"="3/9/2015 3:53 PM, 424 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\icons
       Adds the file icon_128.png"="1/24/2019 10:14 AM, 5398 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_16.png"="2/16/2015 6:22 PM, 1736 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_32.png"="2/16/2015 6:22 PM, 2856 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon_64.png"="2/16/2015 6:22 PM, 4934 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh"="REG_SZ", "66B445A6C917C61EDD353C24D66E3D1058CD45A7D4CBE7703B10BA72897FF7CB"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 1/24/19
Scan Time: 10:22 AM
Log File: 880f2bce-1fb9-11e9-9186-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.6.1.2711
Components Version: 1.0.482
Update Package Version: 1.0.8946
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: 235741
Threats Detected: 31
Threats Quarantined: 31
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 10 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: 1
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 7
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\icons, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GPMLKKNMHOMIKHEEHIBDNEDJAMPADFFH, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946

File: 23
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GPMLKKNMHOMIKHEEHIBDNEDJAMPADFFH\1.2.2_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\baseParameters.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\espeedcheck_parameters.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\espeedcheck_parameters_ds.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\espeedcheck_parameters_nt.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\gozooms_parameters_ds.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\gozooms_parameters_nt.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\products\wiki_parameters.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\base.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\content-newtab.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\basejs\jquery-1.9.1.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\extensions_base\domains.json, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\icons\icon_128.png, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\icons\icon_16.png, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\icons\icon_32.png, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\icons\icon_64.png, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.MySearch.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gpmlkknmhomikheehibdnedjampadffh\1.2.2_0\background.js, Quarantined, [1869], [443176],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.SearchAlgo, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [348], [454816],1.0.8946
PUP.Optional.SearchAlgo, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [348], [454816],1.0.8946

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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