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What is Flash Media Start?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Flash Media Start is a browser NewTab. These so-called "NewTabs" can 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 Flash Media Start?

You may see this browser extension:

main.png

these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

warning3.png

You may see this icon in your browsers menu-bar:

icons.png

this new startpage:

startpage.png

and this new setting:

warning5.png

How did Flash Media Start 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 Flash Media Start?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.
You can use their own uninstall instructions first, but I would advise to follow the steps below anyway.

  • 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 Flash Media Start?

  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes Flash Media Start completely.
  • If your browsers have been hijacked, you should read our Restore Browser page. You can read there how to fix additional browser redirect methods.

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 Flash Media Start hijacker. It would have blocked traffic to their website:
 

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in a FRST log:
 

CHR NewTab: Default ->  Active:"chrome-extension://gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp/index.html"
CHR Extension: (Flash Media Start) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp [2019-07-05]

Significant changes made by the installers:
 

File system details [View: All details] (Selection)
---------------------------------------------------
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0
       Adds the file index.html"="10/16/2018 6:30 AM, 103 bytes, A
       Adds the file load.js"="2/20/2019 12:01 PM, 1674 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="7/5/2019 9:37 AM, 1458 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="7/5/2019 9:37 AM, 502 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="2/20/2019 12:01 PM, 1975 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\imgs
       Adds the file icon128.png"="7/5/2019 9:37 AM, 7486 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16.png"="7/5/2019 9:37 AM, 739 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\js
       Adds the file load.js"="1/22/2019 4:55 PM, 6098 bytes, A
       Adds the file onInstallCallback.js"="10/25/2018 10:33 AM, 115 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp"="REG_SZ", "AF48246501E640FF834CB35B45C8475E830E7618A097EFD3CE06742A5DAAF8A2"

The Malwarebytes scan log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 7/5/19
Scan Time: 9:47 AM
Log File: 220c9554-9ef9-11e9-8083-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.7.1.2839
Components Version: 1.0.586
Update Package Version: 1.0.11410
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: 236436
Threats Detected: 17
Threats Quarantined: 17
Time Elapsed: 5 min, 42 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.PlanetAppz.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 5
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\imgs, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\js, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GFDKNBIKFMKCIKPIDPKGFILHHBGICPPP, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410

File: 11
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GFDKNBIKFMKCIKPIDPKGFILHHBGICPPP\1.0.3_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\imgs\icon128.png, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\imgs\icon16.png, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\js\load.js, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\js\onInstallCallback.js, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\index.html, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410
PUP.Optional.PlanetAppz.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gfdknbikfmkcikpidpkgfilhhbgicppp\1.0.3_0\load.js, Quarantined, [14777], [606826],1.0.11410

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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