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What is FreeStreamSearch?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that FreeStreamSearch 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 FreeStreamSearch?

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

How did FreeStreamSearch 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 FreeStreamSearch?

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 FreeStreamSearch?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes FreeStreamSearch 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 FreeStreamSearch 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.freestreamsearch.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=freestreamsearch&barcodeid=584000000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> FreeStreamSearch
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.freestreamsearch.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (FreeStreamSearch) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio [2021-01-28]

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\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 2132 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/17/2020 3:01 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="9/17/2020 3:01 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 10590 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 680 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 4230 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="9/17/2020 3:01 PM, 514529 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="9/17/2020 3:01 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio
       Adds the file 000003.log"="1/28/2021 1:54 PM, 774 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 184 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio
       Adds the file FreeStreamSearch.ico"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 197278 bytes, A
       Adds the file FreeStreamSearch.ico.md5"="1/28/2021 1:51 PM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio"="REG_SZ", "D7D48E1281457B5F9EC3614B74FCEA38425DED23AB184526F7D1ACC157440EBF"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 1/28/21
Scan Time: 2:00 PM
Log File: d8d38530-6168-11eb-9ae0-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.3.0.98
Components Version: 1.0.1146
Update Package Version: 1.0.36343
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: 232951
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 3 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|goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio, 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\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GOICCFIPPGCILPBDLEJDLCJPHKMFOEIO, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, 1.0.36343, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15230, 799722, , , , , 103C275D8409459C8C99D8536B409670, A49F6815B9E10AF5E6280D0856B87DF01CB2D55CFE34344C6185ADD3AEDC9DAC
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15230, 799722, , , , , 150722047CFAC254FEDA04D920EBEBAA, 29E75AF52FA52DA28DBA397A64A89801F68F8E6EAB72F7140771471219E8549B
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\000003.log, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 569BB1C307DCC73E893C98239214905A, 956C3561CDC9D1297AFF043BBA588F179E40A1D098D3AC623A168D4F7EFC878A
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\LOCK, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\LOG, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 5E75D35DDEFD71F782280BB4C1A97FE7, 061CB8D7953D133E71AF4CD0EB7002AE421AE62E01309C9110F0AE789DAD539B
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\goiccfippgcilpbdlejdlcjphkmfoeio\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GOICCFIPPGCILPBDLEJDLCJPHKMFOEIO\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15230, 799722, 1.0.36343, , ame, , 43DFEC59F16D13712EC3513E3549098A, E481CD4B0C70E4ECBC91ECBEB7D216BBF9F9CF51BEBA5F666C3B9B0C2CC6A9A9

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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