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What is PDFConverterSearchPro?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that PDFConverterSearchPro 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.

recommendations.png

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

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

main.png

and these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning2.png

warning3.png

warning4.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

How did PDFConverterSearchPro 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 PDFConverterSearchPro?

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 PDFConverterSearchPro?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes PDFConverterSearchPro 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 PDFConverterSearchPro hijacker. It would have blocked their website, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


 

protection1.png

 

Technical details for experts

Possible signs in FRST logs:


 

CHR Notifications: Default -> hxxps://install.pdfconvertersearchpro.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.pdfconvertersearchpro.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=pdfconvertersearchpro&barcodeid=586550000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> PDFConverterSearchPro
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.pdfconvertersearchpro.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (PDFConverterSearchPro) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb [2021-03-15]

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\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 2192 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 6725 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="11/22/2020 11:31 AM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="11/22/2020 11:31 AM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 3646 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 543 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 1960 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="11/22/2020 11:31 AM, 553520 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="11/22/2020 11:31 AM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb
       Adds the file 000003.log"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchPro.ico"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 172121 bytes, A
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchPro.ico.md5"="3/15/2021 2:06 PM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb"="REG_SZ", "F3AE581B78A68DEC8C113BF12D95B1AB3E28ABE5AC03BE5B0B7B6664A6E24343"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 3/15/21
Scan Time: 2:15 PM
Log File: 8d238472-8590-11eb-b310-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.3.0.98
Components Version: 1.0.1217
Update Package Version: 1.0.38187
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: 233439
Threats Detected: 12
Threats Quarantined: 12
Time Elapsed: 3 min, 22 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|akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb, Quarantined, 16186, 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\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\AKDCIOBOELAMEKGAPPFAJNJFPGPIMMMB, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, 1.0.38187, , ame, , , 

File: 9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16186, 799722, , , , , DF544FF17FCE1471E0F7FC6ABFEADA65, 61F3AF62ECF69C06A7A7BBC7CA38B72920C161EFB4D9F33D34BDB3B55A8D1DF9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16186, 799722, , , , , 70FA40BF46EE8131AD242E2C21167218, 64ACA91506C83F4C0461C1899A077D37DE8B3B772637C5E951594D5EE2B215A7
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\000003.log, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, , , , , D722D2A43C3A2FBE17F095BD1316ACF3, F12A197380F21674F773C3EBBEE4643EB875CD3F750371257DCFA4D79848E8EC
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\LOCK, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\LOG, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, , , , , F44B24CA498215DC0FF0F73CF36E8652, 6C8E76DBE5234B4946CB3F860C904B7748A27B6C157FD0E8FF12DD9D5417DC22
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\akdcioboelamekgappfajnjfpgpimmmb\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\AKDCIOBOELAMEKGAPPFAJNJFPGPIMMMB\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16186, 799722, 1.0.38187, , ame, , 879C7B4C7B8FC5E96F26A9C1F015F354, E62CEAE65513F9F91D63A51F8468FD9B41573A00948B3E7AACBB89EA44C0A175
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 201, 832955, 1.0.38187, , ame, , 70FA40BF46EE8131AD242E2C21167218, 64ACA91506C83F4C0461C1899A077D37DE8B3B772637C5E951594D5EE2B215A7

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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