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What is GamingSearch?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that GamingSearch 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.

notifications.png

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

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

and these changed settings:

warning5.png

warning6.png

How did GamingSearch 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 GamingSearch?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.

  • 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 GamingSearch?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes GamingSearch 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 Browser Guard, as well as the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the GamingSearch 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 Notifications: Default -> hxxps://get.gaming-search.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.gaming-search.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=gamingsearch&barcodeid=576900000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> GamingSearch
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.gaming-search.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (GamingSearch) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn [2020-10-15]

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\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 2090 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="7/9/2020 3:21 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="7/9/2020 3:21 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 9229 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 719 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 4264 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="7/9/2020 3:21 PM, 514579 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="7/9/2020 3:21 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn
       Adds the file 000003.log"="10/15/2020 9:18 AM, 821 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn
       Adds the file GamingSearch.ico"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 204153 bytes, A
       Adds the file GamingSearch.ico.md5"="10/15/2020 9:15 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn"="REG_SZ", "38C019CF408E3E4883A40BE73448D67B9C74A65EDCDC0D1A818427E3CE91C2B9"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 10/15/20
Scan Time: 9:24 AM
Log File: 8379607c-0eb7-11eb-beed-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.2.1.89
Components Version: 1.0.1061
Update Package Version: 1.0.31372
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: 231839
Threats Detected: 12
Threats Quarantined: 12
Time Elapsed: 6 min, 8 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: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Key: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Value: 1
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , , 

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 2
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GLAMNJAGEMAIAJFKPIPADNLELGODOBHN, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, 1.0.31372, , ame, , , 

File: 9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15232, 799722, , , , , 5DFEC17C25C4FA1E346E80934AB0304F, 1E0B8A9E57A589E6159335B0CEB4BDC09A874EBC8C1C46E0F1ED8D2F76E9CECD
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15232, 799722, , , , , 272BD87B6A3F433F81AA02837AABF99F, 6154DB0B47FC23A270DB24B510CF818F2187FF9BC5B774C67143797E57A71099
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\000003.log, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , D2A3707270CC3E27CD823852BA986680, 0EB64A1496B8090C5DCA3C6E0FF37B4D62C1391F2EF7FADACF9331FF1D8D91D3
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\LOCK, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\LOG, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , 26342D5ACB2B9A93BBAF5303F071B47B, 83FE647B5417C338C5A7793FEFA5C8DD7F9F8ED9C562EA67B12C28EDBE36120C
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\glamnjagemaiajfkpipadnlelgodobhn\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GLAMNJAGEMAIAJFKPIPADNLELGODOBHN\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15232, 799722, 1.0.31372, , ame, , 49DEB8FC97B79543A4FAC86E25B5876D, D807FC9D0CFD5BAA7A6596D065274C52C1A16A8906EC1D5ED6A1B2819AB6F18F
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15846, 832182, 1.0.31372, , ame, , 272BD87B6A3F433F81AA02837AABF99F, 6154DB0B47FC23A270DB24B510CF818F2187FF9BC5B774C67143797E57A71099

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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