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What is PDFConverterSearchTool?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that PDFConverterSearchTool 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.

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

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 PDFConverterSearchTool 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 PDFConverterSearchTool?

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 PDFConverterSearchTool?

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

protection1.png

 

protection2.png


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:
 

CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.pdfconvertersearchtool.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=pdfconvertersearchtool&barcodeid=579880000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> PDFConverterSearchTool
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.pdfconvertersearchtool.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (PDFConverterSearchTool) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb [2020-11-23]

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\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 2204 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/1/2020 2:38 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="9/1/2020 2:38 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 6132 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 577 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 3126 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="9/1/2020 2:38 PM, 514583 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="9/1/2020 2:38 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb
       Adds the file 000003.log"="11/23/2020 9:08 AM, 488 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 184 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchTool.ico"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 186742 bytes, A
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchTool.ico.md5"="11/23/2020 9:06 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb"="REG_SZ", "D39C000BFB2AD60B6153733BAB51B342160CCFBECB34A5EEDA81E6BA37B24CBD"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 11/23/20
Scan Time: 9:14 AM
Log File: eef7622a-2d63-11eb-9cc4-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.2.3.96
Components Version: 1.0.1112
Update Package Version: 1.0.33302
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: 232016
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 35 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|faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb, Quarantined, 15654, 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\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\FAELHHLLMDDEKFOKBCAGGKCNMIEDGIBB, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, 1.0.33302, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15654, 799722, , , , , 743086FCA813D63114831C6EF8DF30BD, 1B000DFB807A68985DC75BE7A43872CA700A94C492BD68DB2A46D1280E7097EC
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15654, 799722, , , , , F6CF0F109539C6B5285BD96E229EF4C6, 18005F9D91352B5C7E91B222720A116DBEDA12360054737670E39349C9B747E5
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\000003.log, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, , , , , 54D8971E6238F468F4578072403388D5, 021487E0409D0158075EAF65EE6C70E5589E85E32FA8156557765F3686F4B8FE
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\LOCK, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\LOG, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, , , , , E7612D246B5977B99A5AC0E8F50C79AD, 2A051862FECBCAE715BD5A9490E03F787F5C18C36B2AD40751F7C9FB419ADD7D
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\faelhhllmddekfokbcaggkcnmiedgibb\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\FAELHHLLMDDEKFOKBCAGGKCNMIEDGIBB\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15654, 799722, 1.0.33302, , ame, , 2572778616DFF46C1B1ADECB2A461514, 698AE27B046C90727361EDDCD55B7A88055401490DA060E8615FB47FCCA9F3D3

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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