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What is Storm Search?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Storm Search 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.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Storm Search?

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 Storm Search 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 Storm Search?

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 Storm Search?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Storm Search 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 Storm Search 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://find.stormsearch.net/?q={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> Storm
CHR Extension: (Storm) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen [2021-03-10]

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\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\1.12_0
       Adds the file answ.txt"="7/2/2020 12:23 PM, 2229 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 1698 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\1.12_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 3381 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="7/2/2020 12:08 PM, 2309 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\1.12_0\image
       Adds the file 128.png"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 1528 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16.png"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 189 bytes, A
       Adds the file 32.png"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 506 bytes, A
       Adds the file 48.png"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 714 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64.png"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 947 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\1.12_0\js
       Adds the file background.js"="7/2/2020 12:10 PM, 3277 bytes, A
       Adds the file jquery-2.2.4.js"="3/27/2020 8:37 PM, 257286 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\1.12_0\options
       Adds the file options.html"="7/2/2020 12:09 PM, 2271 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen
       Adds the file 000003.log"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 61 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 184 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen
       Adds the file 000003.log"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 51 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="3/10/2021 8:54 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen"="REG_SZ", "1C6F3B48FC95078C05918B2FC71B98FB8C4E03FE8965F5D46087F83295374FDD"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 3/10/21
Scan Time: 9:10 AM
Log File: 06bc59d4-8178-11eb-bff6-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.3.0.98
Components Version: 1.0.1173
Update Package Version: 1.0.37937
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: 233363
Threats Detected: 17
Threats Quarantined: 17
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 3 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
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , , 

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 3
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\NBEFKJLFAMKDEGIOBDLGILNOLPIFEAEN, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, 1.0.37937, , ame, , , 

File: 13
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16151, 828115, , , , , D4CF7E50E03B023A42878B22EC0203DD, F21FC50B572A0F61C65ADBACF54451FE79B98E758977DDC0CACF93DAE792B4E4
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16151, 828115, , , , , 835B69483B47B563970505A93C7EB928, DD9DDC988EB00A21A6641F5357E7798E584F2093B52B9CD4645E1F354C35D2FD
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\000003.log, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 3FFF6C148BE39C61F2800E892A577DC0, B0BBDEB47524D093CC1ABC040D508198C027E2CD4111A258C6DC73243848123E
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\LOCK, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\LOG, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 4EC4C2DF8D8B0C60C9B0FC2A7774F10D, 1C48CE4155AA2CFE634ED6A2E5C550EE2F0B72B0038780C110787729366E5AAD
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\000003.log, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 95A55DD5EA0AAD3CF00259DDC5D294F3, 23180DFFAF40E3F05F2C2FE88FC7E9327A3C07146268E10871BF148AF706C591
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\LOCK, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\LOG, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , BDB2DA0217D168C59CFF3D423B415FA7, 34F6E0597F6F413C9D51F08C2B671BD97689612B0C2EA26326464D2C054BE5F0
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nbefkjlfamkdegiobdlgilnolpifeaen\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\NBEFKJLFAMKDEGIOBDLGILNOLPIFEAEN\1.12_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16151, 828115, 1.0.37937, , ame, , 434D9363EDB7594A63BC1C6BC7847233, C56D95574CD351B0B4E3191CB991119E627E16B113ED9CA3E392A05F8983775B

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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