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What is Hide My Searches?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Hide My Searches 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 Hide My Searches?

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 Hide My Searches 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 Hide My Searches?

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 Hide My Searches?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Hide My Searches 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 Hide My Searches hijacker. It blocks some of their domains, 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 -> hxxps://www.hidemysearches.com/encsearch?q={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> hm
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://www.hidemysearches.com/encsuggest?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (Hide My Searches) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia [2019-10-28]

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\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0
       Adds the file background.html"="2/19/2019 2:41 PM, 151 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 2254 bytes, A
       Adds the file panel.html"="2/19/2019 2:41 PM, 2023 bytes, A
       Adds the file settings.html"="2/19/2019 2:41 PM, 11209 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 9518 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/13/2019 8:13 AM, 3057 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\css
       Adds the file tooltip.css"="9/13/2018 3:57 PM, 1298 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm
       Adds the file icon128.png"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 4084 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16.png"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 352 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16_disabled.png"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 349 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon48.png"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 1269 bytes, A
       Adds the file input-checked.png"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 318 bytes, A
       Adds the file input-unchecked.png"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 154 bytes, A
       Adds the file si-logo.png"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 137595 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\lib
       Adds the file bg.js"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 395052 bytes, A
       Adds the file page-protection.js"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 70136 bytes, A
       Adds the file panel.js"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 57131 bytes, A
       Adds the file savesettings.js"="7/18/2019 4:02 PM, 64384 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia
       Adds the file 000003.log"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 14048 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 185 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia
       Adds the file 000003.log"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 260 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="10/28/2019 8:16 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="10/28/2019 8:15 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia"="REG_SZ", "7D9B2F5953272863CBF179D07E0080E1B8ACC513693A5049E5E54F63BA6C337A"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 10/28/19
Scan Time: 8:24 AM
Log File: 052ae3d6-f954-11e9-b2b7-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.8.3.2965
Components Version: 1.0.613
Update Package Version: 1.0.13095
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: 234270
Threats Detected: 40
Threats Quarantined: 40
Time Elapsed: 7 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.HideMySearches, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 9
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\_metadata, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\css, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\lib, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GJAMFBPPKHDLFBEPAFLBKPBLGNINAOIA, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095

File: 30
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\000003.log, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\CURRENT, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\LOCK, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\LOG, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\000003.log, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\CURRENT, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\LOCK, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\LOG, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GJAMFBPPKHDLFBEPAFLBKPBLGNINAOIA\1.0.0.1_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\css\tooltip.css, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\icon128.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\icon16.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\icon16_disabled.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\icon48.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\input-checked.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\input-unchecked.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\img\hm\si-logo.png, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\lib\bg.js, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\lib\page-protection.js, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\lib\panel.js, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\lib\savesettings.js, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\_metadata\computed_hashes.json, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\_metadata\verified_contents.json, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\background.html, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\panel.html, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095
PUP.Optional.HideMySearches, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gjamfbppkhdlfbepaflbkpblgninaoia\1.0.0.1_0\settings.html, Quarantined, [14856], [752291],1.0.13095

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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