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What is Search Hub by Search Smart?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Search Hub by Search Smart 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.
This particular one is a search hijacker and uses web push notifications.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Search Hub by Search Smart?

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 these changed settings:

warning5.png

How did Search Hub by Search Smart 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 Search Hub by Search Smart?

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 Hub by Search Smart?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Search Hub by Search Smart completely.
  • If you have allowed the notifications you can read here how to disable them.

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 Hub by Search Smart hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop before it became too late.

 

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

 

CHR NewTab: Default ->  Active:"chrome-extension://migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh/newtabhtml/newtabpage.html"
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://hp.hgetsearchhub.com/s?query={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> Search Hub
CHR Extension: (Search Hub) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh [2019-09-16]

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\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0
       Adds the file central.js"="9/5/2019 3:49 PM, 1069 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon.png"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 3320 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 1695 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_locales\en
       Adds the file messages.json"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 191 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 1223 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/5/2019 3:49 PM, 2775 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\html\bAction
       Adds the file newtabpage.html"="8/28/2019 1:57 PM, 214 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js
       Adds the file browseraction.js"="9/7/2019 9:38 AM, 1001 bytes, A
       Adds the file config.js"="9/7/2019 9:36 AM, 1000 bytes, A
       Adds the file ds.js"="8/28/2019 1:57 PM, 714 bytes, A
       Adds the file log.js"="9/7/2019 9:36 AM, 929 bytes, A
       Adds the file newTab.js"="9/7/2019 9:37 AM, 1241 bytes, A
       Adds the file search.js"="8/28/2019 1:57 PM, 871 bytes, A
       Adds the file store.js"="8/28/2019 1:57 PM, 235 bytes, A
       Adds the file utility.js"="8/28/2019 1:57 PM, 2531 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\newtabhtml
       Adds the file newtabpage.html"="8/28/2019 1:57 PM, 294 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh
       Adds the file 000003.log"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 443 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="9/16/2019 9:15 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh"="REG_SZ", "69FB2B72CA3D3959F6E7860D84B7A2BEC83454AB1FAC720B91362413984573B8"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 9/16/19
Scan Time: 9:26 AM
Log File: 48ec44b0-d853-11e9-9cc7-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.8.3.2965
Components Version: 1.0.613
Update Package Version: 1.0.12491
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: 235793
Threats Detected: 34
Threats Quarantined: 34
Time Elapsed: 8 min, 43 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.SearchHub, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 10
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\html\bAction, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_locales\en, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\newtabhtml, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_locales, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\html, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\EXTENSIONS\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491

File: 23
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\html\bAction\newtabpage.html, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\browseraction.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\config.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\ds.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\log.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\newTab.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\search.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\store.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\js\utility.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\newtabhtml\newtabpage.html, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_locales\en\messages.json, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\central.js, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\icon.png, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\3.0_0\manifest.json, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\000003.log, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\CURRENT, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\LOCK, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\LOG, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\migcdcdngigcanbbdbpkhfmiaadppceh\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491
PUP.Optional.SearchHub, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [2261], [733512],1.0.12491

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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