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What is NetGameSearch?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that NetGameSearch 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.


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

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


and these warnings during install:





and this changed setting:


How did NetGameSearch get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was downloaded from the webstore:


after a redirect from their website:


How do I remove NetGameSearch?

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 NetGameSearch?

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


Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:

CHR Notifications: Default -> hxxps://install.netgamesearch.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.netgamesearch.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=netgamesearch&barcodeid=585480000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> NetGameSearch
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.netgamesearch.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (NetGameSearch) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg [2021-01-08]

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\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 2096 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 6725 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="10/20/2020 8:13 AM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="10/20/2020 8:13 AM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 10354 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 854 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 5028 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="10/20/2020 8:13 AM, 553448 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="10/20/2020 8:13 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg
       Adds the file 000003.log"="1/8/2021 8:53 AM, 801 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg
       Adds the file NetGameSearch.ico"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 209275 bytes, A
       Adds the file NetGameSearch.ico.md5"="1/8/2021 8:50 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg"="REG_SZ", "EA3B082A3EA51975E89777CA9217BFECF0B88D6DFA7C99212FC36F79B3583E97"

Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 1/8/21
Scan Time: 9:08 AM
Log File: ad506526-5188-11eb-8070-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.1130
Update Package Version: 1.0.35397
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: 232737
Threats Detected: 12
Threats Quarantined: 12
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 51 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|hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg, Quarantined, 15230, 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\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\HJANNONJGJDMBCCBOLBGOOHIDALENCLG, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, 1.0.35397, , ame, , , 

File: 9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15230, 799722, , , , , 43DAB5038CD161E4925ABDD20555FDC2, 518274CE7142C00CA72C71415F1E53CF7DB6917AF1282E0CB85EF44247364E51
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15230, 799722, , , , , 24B3ED17E7DB9E8E5122108A98217150, A72B0FA5B7ECB192560268DA62BD2AA5DDAF7FB25EE69C3CA42644DDD93D605F
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\000003.log, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , D8880D3A7704CFC09C3BE183FDC7A925, 5FDC74095C7F13DC36F65CBF1E97D5C1151EF847A3CB724376517D2BE885EA59
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\LOCK, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\LOG, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , FC95085C05CBD10FA809FCBD20D43CA9, 26E907BC59D0687A036CACC7CAB5A28F6A2803A66E8ED7C51EB3C6135A2C95EB
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hjannonjgjdmbccbolbgoohidalenclg\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\HJANNONJGJDMBCCBOLBGOOHIDALENCLG\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, 1.0.35397, , ame, , 109B25C5FDA2B2574DF87634E67A82A9, 0C46B3FAD4343CC4FD540DA1A942AC69CA3484883302F776BB800AE6DAA48087
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15847, 832955, 1.0.35397, , ame, , 24B3ED17E7DB9E8E5122108A98217150, A72B0FA5B7ECB192560268DA62BD2AA5DDAF7FB25EE69C3CA42644DDD93D605F

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 0
(No malicious items detected)


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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