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What is GameSearcher?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that GameSearcher 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 GameSearcher?

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 GameSearcher 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 GameSearcher?

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 GameSearcher?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes GameSearcher 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 GameSearcher 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.game-searcher.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=gamesearcher&barcodeid=576940000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> GameSearcher
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.game-searcher.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (GameSearcher) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod [2021-02-22]

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\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 2090 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="8/9/2020 9:01 AM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="8/9/2020 9:01 AM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 8631 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 693 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 3995 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="8/9/2020 9:01 AM, 514494 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="8/9/2020 9:01 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod
       Adds the file 000003.log"="2/22/2021 8:53 AM, 780 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod
       Adds the file GameSearcher.ico"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 192304 bytes, A
       Adds the file GameSearcher.ico.md5"="2/22/2021 8:50 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod"="REG_SZ", "1E01B86C836EC0828E96E04F9D71DCCF7FA2E1592CD433402D8281CB9BE73AE4"

Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 2/22/21
Scan Time: 8:59 AM
Log File: e941c2c2-74e3-11eb-90f9-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.1173
Update Package Version: 1.0.37377
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: 233228
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 28 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|bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod, 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\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\BFNHODDHAPMMPLPKMBGEHGNHDMFBKJOD, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, 1.0.37377, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15231, 799722, , , , , 7590B64B91E8473A5B2529594902CCE4, 111925D6413D2ABE37F373231617CE6B4347A79E9C984AA10F78413B2CE8558F
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15231, 799722, , , , , A144BA24A1C48C43991601EC7F0F94FB, 2851C7B5AA3E3748C42D2E6D25B364CD1503787C9FAE3FA82E10EC86119466B0
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\000003.log, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , AAEED116BD123790265E48C41D02E870, 90C1DD21C30523A7A4D136260CDA934489DB4234745D251C0F10E931E78C9F45
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\LOCK, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\LOG, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 69D3C7CCB5E696F96046B8CFF4B93233, 4FC73D116D1C3620C07B0618E1E0619B23D539C6A6A9F27BD3BD909E1E43994C
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\bfnhoddhapmmplpkmbgehgnhdmfbkjod\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\BFNHODDHAPMMPLPKMBGEHGNHDMFBKJOD\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, 1.0.37377, , ame, , A1BBC8E608882BF77355B4B9A28393DD, AEC2296FA9252E8DA100867F685B0F8E72C3551A35103E3C317857901B56A7CB

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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