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What is PDFConverterSearchApp?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that PDFConverterSearchApp 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. It also adds advertisements to your search results in the form of recommended searches.



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

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


and these warnings during install:




and these changed settings:


How did PDFConverterSearchApp 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 PDFConverterSearchApp?

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 PDFConverterSearchApp?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes PDFConverterSearchApp 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 PDFConverterSearchApp 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.pdfconvertersearchapp.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.pdfconvertersearchapp.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=pdfconvertersearchapp&barcodeid=586540000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> PDFConverterSearchApp
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.pdfconvertersearchapp.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (PDFConverterSearchApp) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml [2021-02-23]

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\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 2192 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 6725 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="11/22/2020 11:22 AM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="11/22/2020 11:22 AM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 2705 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 431 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 1524 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="11/22/2020 11:22 AM, 553520 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="11/22/2020 11:22 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml
       Adds the file 000003.log"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 772 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="2/23/2021 8:52 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG.old"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchApp.ico"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 167009 bytes, A
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchApp.ico.md5"="2/23/2021 8:51 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml"="REG_SZ", "E0BB14EFCF360DCD9F079792C8C0304B764520F6BC38ACA5472CEED8CB0F4894"

Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 2/23/21
Scan Time: 9:03 AM
Log File: 9fe92f14-75ad-11eb-a024-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.1173
Update Package Version: 1.0.37409
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: 233235
Threats Detected: 13
Threats Quarantined: 13
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 53 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|cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml, 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\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\CBLANBPGMLKLHKAGKHIELEJNBEKFHGML, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, 1.0.37409, , ame, , , 

File: 10
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 15231, 799722, , , , , 08201ECD1B85FF76F1A530F7F1CD60FA, B1BC63963EDB300951864E8313D40FF11B15C2350E063C48B476887CE50CC5C1
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15231, 799722, , , , , 72371288828C9FF920161D362A9696D0, 883E233ADECA0F30A6F171774213F6CB16337E7A0434CC00A2BCAFB31A301CDC
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\000003.log, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 67FC137A21E8071A243A4E623765F366, 3C2751C90D48A69328831A9BC0DD02B786699ED3D5F584AB24BF25502636188D
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\CURRENT, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\LOCK, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\LOG, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , B5AAD68D85A7BBE311E96DBD055809DD, BE0E99A8647036469D3CDBF8A2E20A59ACA811061A0881A3454D6446DDAAF0EB
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\LOG.old, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , F5456C85FF94C78C3AEB779FB4449CD0, C03159C8CD18EA9239AA281E3A3C9456BC5D56C0998CD0E677D8A91A07BFE365
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\cblanbpgmlklhkagkhielejnbekfhgml\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\CBLANBPGMLKLHKAGKHIELEJNBEKFHGML\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 15231, 799722, 1.0.37409, , ame, , 64D23C0EBA8E789DA30A1D1773435FD7, F2FAAD057EB6A40FCA8ACAFB0601609F54C8968A2588485B4976D8269EDA7B23
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 15848, 832955, 1.0.37409, , ame, , 72371288828C9FF920161D362A9696D0, 883E233ADECA0F30A6F171774213F6CB16337E7A0434CC00A2BCAFB31A301CDC

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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