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What is PDFConverterSearchHD?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that PDFConverterSearchHD 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 PDFConverterSearchHD?

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


and this changed setting:


You may have noticed these warnings during install:





How did PDFConverterSearchHD 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 PDFConverterSearchHD?

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 PDFConverterSearchHD?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes PDFConverterSearchHD 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 PDFConverterSearchHD 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 DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.pdfconvertersearchhd.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=pdfconvertersearchhd&barcodeid=579850000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> PDFConverterSearchHD
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.pdfconvertersearchhd.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (PDFConverterSearchHD) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala [2021-02-15]

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\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 2180 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/1/2020 2:27 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="9/1/2020 2:27 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 3190 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 423 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 1687 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="9/1/2020 2:27 PM, 514565 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="9/1/2020 2:27 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala
       Adds the file 000003.log"="2/15/2021 9:23 AM, 488 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchHD.ico"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 169127 bytes, A
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchHD.ico.md5"="2/15/2021 9:21 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala"="REG_SZ", "55897F3EBC6271E57624DC4B03365787D8C0A3BFF4CAD1A2D57305A57479E1F7"

Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 2/15/21
Scan Time: 9:29 AM
Log File: f96451fa-6f67-11eb-bb78-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.1157
Update Package Version: 1.0.37145
License: Premium

-System Information-
OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: {username}-PC\{username}

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 233187
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 30 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|gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala, Quarantined, 15231, 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\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GCMNGNBOBGMKEILLICDIPMLMGGDKHALA, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, 1.0.37145, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15231, 799722, , , , , E97627FC2E1E0EB7AA36714C0EF964B1, F657E8DEEE7FAEA3BAE94FDE8E1B1A36405FBAFAEC8ACDA08CADFD87E423FDC7
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15231, 799722, , , , , 8E6BECA97DDA3914B510B02B0A21E6B1, 947422E4E8B8C4385CBA598E0EA37A91E4BC5ADA08D118003B64C942833B6247
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\000003.log, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , C5C69AB9944DE5C4150DC1DB17D76EFB, AB6E633C89AFB74F8C77BA86EA12F123AC2B0189E5D4F470E1E6FAB34B45C798
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\LOCK, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\LOG, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 473D42E773752BDBC2B817B77C3EC07F, 58C3BEBFA7C589F5287917DDACBD646D45BC2564FC5E62DA16784A1B55B80506
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\gcmngnbobgmkeillicdipmlmggdkhala\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\GCMNGNBOBGMKEILLICDIPMLMGGDKHALA\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, 1.0.37145, , ame, , CB234697A1F0AFC97838D51205CD71A6, 7942E5B5CC05F2DAE9E2C5E7BEE0EAB374B29433D32F24E81F4DEFED5D7085D9

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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