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What is TopSportsSearch?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that TopSportsSearch 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 changes your default search engine and adds Search Recommendations.

recommendations.png

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

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

main.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

You may have noticed these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

warning3.png

warning4.png

How did TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch?

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 TopSportsSearch?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes TopSportsSearch 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 TopSportsSearch hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


 

protection1.png

 

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:


 

CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.topsportssearch.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=topsportssearch&barcodeid=584120000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> TopSportsSearch
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.topsportssearch.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (TopSportsSearch) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham [2020-11-18]

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\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 2120 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/24/2020 10:14 AM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="9/24/2020 10:14 AM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 9981 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 739 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 4505 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="9/24/2020 10:14 AM, 514520 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="9/24/2020 10:14 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham
       Adds the file 000003.log"="11/18/2020 9:37 AM, 659 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham
       Adds the file TopSportsSearch.ico"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 206684 bytes, A
       Adds the file TopSportsSearch.ico.md5"="11/18/2020 9:22 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham"="REG_SZ", "EB9D2B1F5955A0F4BE5F35316F3886089466E01A0DFA4042C8C729199EECB10B"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 11/18/20
Scan Time: 10:02 AM
Log File: c4a178d4-297c-11eb-9a71-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.2.3.96
Components Version: 1.0.1112
Update Package Version: 1.0.33052
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: 232020
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 37 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|pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham, Quarantined, 15620, 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\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\PJEBJMCJOBHNFFDKIHEGAKCGONOKIHAM, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, 1.0.33052, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15620, 799722, , , , , 3A8021A0324D0A85244495EBB309C162, 3A1FBCDDCF98B67F7F38B7B3D288B59C8D00B847E0E9D9613438CC751630D76A
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15620, 799722, , , , , 81C6BB6B6ACCA2582B686879C7DED9E8, 18AA84E5175EE4C982A310D2A0BA7BD2F5A6814B1F20DD94ACA636F2876B50D9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\000003.log, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, , , , , 2B5F13F22283356799354556DB8CA7D4, E82649F9AA5D6863244B68471C27D405AE35EA86897F2494A88D9217E2A1676C
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\LOCK, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\LOG, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, , , , , 59CCC1E3978F879542D806066EDECB66, 2046525680FA8E372FEADF6877C4B05A38E2E096AA98CC105E7EE66F615CD3A1
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\pjebjmcjobhnffdkihegakcgonokiham\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\PJEBJMCJOBHNFFDKIHEGAKCGONOKIHAM\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15620, 799722, 1.0.33052, , ame, , 0B382B5FF4CCDA19232D2583934E46F5, 1CC8EB02D4E75B2CBBCD2803A4DA811F9A3551E71F7AE20D8C30966FD8775F9A

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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