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What is Spark Search?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Spark Search 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 closes your initial search tab and opens a new one with the same querie on their own search domain. More details in this blogpost.

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

You may see this entry in your list of installed Chrome extensions:

main.png

You may have noticed these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

How did Spark Search 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 Spark Search?

Our program Malwarebytes can detect and remove this search hijacker.

  • 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 Spark Search?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Spark Search 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 Malwarebytes Browser Guard, and the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the Spark Search hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


 

protection2.png

 

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:


 

CHR Extension: (Spark Search) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb [2020-11-12]

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\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\6.3.59_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 1114 bytes, A
       Adds the file sr.js"="11/9/2020 5:51 PM, 7673 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\6.3.59_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 396 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="11/9/2020 5:50 PM, 1639 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\6.3.59_0\icons
       Adds the file icon128.png"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 2188 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon48.png"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 253 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb
       Adds the file 000003.log"="11/12/2020 8:58 AM, 288 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="11/12/2020 8:56 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="11/12/2020 8:55 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb"="REG_SZ", "B43293BD6BAFE5A2CB1D4F97D7F434F652EB23FED82D44AABB04E69A7E657860"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 11/12/20
Scan Time: 9:05 AM
Log File: dcf9dcfa-24bd-11eb-b8b8-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.2.3.96
Components Version: 1.0.1104
Update Package Version: 1.0.32778
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: 231986
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 42 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
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , , 

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 2
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\DAOPCKBJFLJNPAIFDBFKIACMEEMBJPHB, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, 1.0.32778, , ame, , , 

File: 8
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15565, 836150, , , , , B4DE626A1C482C3479CE075FAD1C68BC, 5CD3E751B608145D06D722323356DC381E8331386348428E5B6C7502D8534447
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15565, 836150, , , , , A3236BB5FC96EA8B851816AC38951CB2, EB5CEE683D885D6AD835C967190FF7FACB6CB15F4B2571C5C6B09E1013CAB25D
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\000003.log, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , 0A8A040D618C3722FFFAC5D61CDB7219, DD653E83715E72C6EC36114F4ED925123AB484C0E2FA20060CB8CEF9B13E8497
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\LOCK, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\LOG, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , 88399436D13CA2C1072D9E46449D8C8A, 22D9FF3FCE0FEF7B3CFB0400551C67F766071FF9E0B213C896CB0FDBEDEEA3EC
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\daopckbjfljnpaifdbfkiacmeembjphb\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
PUP.Optional.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\DAOPCKBJFLJNPAIFDBFKIACMEEMBJPHB\6.3.59_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15565, 836150, 1.0.32778, , ame, , B7727CDD1D696C5241AABB42FC938C1F, 537B461A2D8685A32E33B3269617B94884344D438670525C97726B459C07F9A4

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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