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What is FreeTemplateFinder?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that FreeTemplateFinder 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.
FreeTemplateFinder is a member of the Mindspark/Ask family now known as IAC Applications.

How do I know if my computer is affected by FreeTemplateFinder?

You may see these browser extensions/add-ons:

warning5.png

warning6.png

these warnings during install:

main.png

warning1.png

warning2.png

You may see this entry in your list of installed software:

warning4.png

and this new homepage in the affected browsers:

startpage.png

How did FreeTemplateFinder get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was downloaded from their website.

website.png

and the Chrome extension was also available in the webstore:

How do I remove FreeTemplateFinder?

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 for Windows to your desktop.
  • Double-click MBSetup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • When your Malwarebytes for Windows installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
  • Click on the Get started button.
  • Click Scan to start a Threat Scan.
  • When the scan is finished click Quarantine to remove the found threats.
  • Reboot the system if prompted to complete the removal process.

Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of FreeTemplateFinder?

  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes FreeTemplateFinder 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 FreeTemplateFinder hijacker. It would have warned you before the hijacker could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


 

protection1.png

 

and it blocks traffic to some of their domains:
 

protection2.png

 

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in a FRST log:


 

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = hxxps://hp.myway.com/FreeTemplateFinder/t{tab}/index.html?n={n}&p2={p2}{tab}&ptb={ptb}&coid={coid}
FF Homepage: Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default -> moz-extension://b64f0546-a727-453a-96f5-8565da717b6d/dynamicHomePage.html
FF HomepageOverride: Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default -> Enabled: _psMembersttab03_@www.freetemplatefinder.com
FF NewTabOverride: Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default -> Enabled: _psMembersttab03_@www.freetemplatefinder.com
FF Extension: (FreeTemplateFinder) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default\Extensions\_psMembersttab03_@www.freetemplatefinder.com.xpi [2020-02-10] [UpdateUrl:hxxps://updates.tb.ask.com/updateXpi.json?id=237229520&version=8.937.17.22630&track=TTAB03&trackRevision=1&fromId=_psMembersttab03_%40www.freetemplatefinder.com&isBridgeExtension=false]
CHR NewTab: Default ->  Active:"chrome-extension://jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg/ntp1.html"
CHR Extension: (FreeTemplateFinder) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg [2020-02-10]
C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab
(Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc.) C:\Users\{username}\Desktop\freetemplatefinder.exe

FreeTemplateFinder Internet Explorer Homepage and New Tab (HKCU\...\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab Uninstall Internet Explorer) (Version:  - Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc.) <==== ATTENTION

Significant changes made by the installers:
 

  Monitored program
    FreeTemplateFinder Setup 2.8.1.1000
  Monitored on
    2/10/2020 9:11:50 AM
  Monitored program path
File system details [View: All details] (Selection)
---------------------------------------------------
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab
       Adds the file TooltabExtension.dll"="12/7/2019 12:25 AM, 266864 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\13.921.17.10811_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 2537 bytes, A
       Adds the file ntp1.html"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1434 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\13.921.17.10811_0\_locales
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\13.921.17.10811_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 5628 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 7160 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\13.921.17.10811_0\config
       Adds the file config.json"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1463 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\13.921.17.10811_0\icons
       Adds the file icon128.png"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 6251 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16.png"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1540 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon19disabled.png"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1562 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon19on.png"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 701 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon48.png"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 2440 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\13.921.17.10811_0\js
       Adds the file ajax.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 3263 bytes, A
       Adds the file babAPI.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 5703 bytes, A
       Adds the file babClickHandler.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 11589 bytes, A
       Adds the file babContentScript.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 3749 bytes, A
       Adds the file babContentScriptAPI.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 9842 bytes, A
       Adds the file background.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 18898 bytes, A
       Adds the file browserUtils.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1892 bytes, A
       Adds the file chrome.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 146 bytes, A
       Adds the file contentScriptConnectionManager.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 22964 bytes, A
       Adds the file dateTimeUtils.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1213 bytes, A
       Adds the file dlp.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 5783 bytes, A
       Adds the file dlpHelper.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1835 bytes, A
       Adds the file extensionDetect.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 4354 bytes, A
       Adds the file index.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 49 bytes, A
       Adds the file localStorageContentScript.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 2236 bytes, A
       Adds the file logger.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 531 bytes, A
       Adds the file meta.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1660 bytes, A
       Adds the file offerService.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 16953 bytes, A
       Adds the file pageUtils.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 2905 bytes, A
       Adds the file PartnerId.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 16402 bytes, A
       Adds the file polyfill.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 875 bytes, A
       Adds the file product.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 7830 bytes, A
       Adds the file remoteConfigLoader.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 5053 bytes, A
       Adds the file searchBoxFocusSetterEdge.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1648 bytes, A
       Adds the file splashPageRedirectHandler.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 2821 bytes, A
       Adds the file storageUtils.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 1718 bytes, A
       Adds the file TemplateParser.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 3153 bytes, A
       Adds the file ul.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 3969 bytes, A
       Adds the file urlFragmentActions.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 2453 bytes, A
       Adds the file urlUtils.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 5906 bytes, A
       Adds the file util.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 2779 bytes, A
       Adds the file webtooltabAPI.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 9768 bytes, A
       Adds the file webTooltabAPIProxy.js"="1/13/2020 4:34 PM, 8765 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg
       Adds the file 000003.log"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 4661 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="2/10/2020 9:11 AM, 185 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="2/10/2020 9:09 AM, 41 bytes, A
    In the existing folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{profile}.default\extensions
       Adds the file _psMembersttab03_@www.freetemplatefinder.com.xpi"="2/10/2020 9:05 AM, 271344 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\FreeTemplateFinder]
       "Start Page"="REG_SZ", "https://hp.myway.com/FreeTemplateFinder/t{tab}/index.html?n={n}&p2={p2}{tab}&ptb={ptb}&coid={coid}"
       "UnInstallSurveyUrl"="REG_SZ", "http://@{downloadDomain}.dl.myway.com/uninstall.jhtml?c={ptb}&ptb={p2}{tab}"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg"="REG_SZ", "24B7D5F9475527EED993E75CDD7750E8174B2D8BB72858E8529ED92D9A004E67"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
       "Start Page" = REG_SZ, "https://hp.myway.com/FreeTemplateFinder/t{tab}/index.html?n={n}&p2={p2}{tab}&ptb={ptb}&coid={coid}"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab Uninstall Internet Explorer]
       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "FreeTemplateFinder Internet Explorer Homepage and New Tab"
       "HelpLink"="REG_SZ", "http://support.mindspark.com/"
       "Publisher"="REG_SZ", "Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc."
       "UninstallString"="REG_SZ", "Rundll32.exe "C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab\TooltabExtension.dll" U uninstall:FreeTemplateFinder"
       "URLInfoAbout"="REG_SZ", "http://support.mindspark.com/"

The Malwarebytes scan log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 2/10/20
Scan Time: 9:19 AM
Log File: 1db22c34-4bde-11ea-a4d0-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.0.4.49
Components Version: 1.0.810
Update Package Version: 1.0.18978
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: 235811
Threats Detected: 23
Threats Quarantined: 23
Time Elapsed: 11 min, 43 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Detect
PUM: Detect

-Scan Details-
Process: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Module: 1
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab\TooltabExtension.dll, Quarantined, 1799, 356944, , , , 

Registry Key: 2
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab Uninstall Internet Explorer, Quarantined, 1799, 356944, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\FreeTemplateFinder, Quarantined, 1799, 444113, 1.0.18978, , ame, 

Registry Value: 4
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\FreeTemplateFinder|START PAGE, Quarantined, 1799, 444113, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\FreeTemplateFinder|UNINSTALLSURVEYURL, Quarantined, 1799, 769449, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab Uninstall Internet Explorer|PUBLISHER, Quarantined, 696, 352442, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 

Registry Data: 1
PUP.Optional.MindSpark, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\MAIN|START PAGE, Replaced, 696, 293497, 1.0.18978, , ame, 

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 3
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab, Quarantined, 1799, 356944, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\JINOLCIBCADGFAPGAMBEHIOKLCIONLPG, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, 1.0.18978, , ame, 

File: 12
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\FreeTemplateFinderTooltab\TooltabExtension.dll, Quarantined, 1799, 356944, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\ROAMING\MOZILLA\FIREFOX\PROFILES\{profile}.default\EXTENSIONS\_psMembersttab03_@www.freetemplatefinder.com.xpi, Quarantined, 1799, 782571, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\000003.log, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\CURRENT, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\LOCK, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\LOG, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\jinolcibcadgfapgambehioklcionlpg\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, , , , 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\JINOLCIBCADGFAPGAMBEHIOKLCIONLPG\13.921.17.10811_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 1799, 443121, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\JINOLCIBCADGFAPGAMBEHIOKLCIONLPG\13.921.17.10811_0\CONFIG\CONFIG.JSON, Quarantined, 1799, 456842, 1.0.18978, , ame, 
PUP.Optional.MindSpark, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\FREETEMPLATEFINDER.EXE, Quarantined, 696, 365288, 1.0.18978, , ame, 

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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