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What is Conf Search?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Conf 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 Conf 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 Conf 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 Conf 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 Conf Search?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes Conf 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 Conf 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://conf-search.com/?q={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> Conf Search
CHR Extension: (Conf Search) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald [2021-03-26]

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\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\1.0.3_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 1684 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\1.0.3_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 3279 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="2/15/2021 10:09 AM, 2207 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\1.0.3_0\image
       Adds the file 128.png"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 7827 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16.png"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 737 bytes, A
       Adds the file 32.png"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 2464 bytes, A
       Adds the file 48.png"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 4279 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64.png"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 6099 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\1.0.3_0\js
       Adds the file background.js"="2/4/2021 2:14 PM, 3272 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\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\1.0.3_0\options
       Adds the file options.html"="2/4/2021 2:18 PM, 2257 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald
       Adds the file 000003.log"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 61 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="3/26/2021 10:59 AM, 409 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG.old"="3/26/2021 10:58 AM, 409 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald
       Adds the file 000003.log"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 50 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 183 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="3/26/2021 10:56 AM, 41 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald"="REG_SZ", "307022BFCE23A70E727351D4A900D1911751775102BC931EE8100618E34DF794"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 3/26/21
Scan Time: 11:09 AM
Log File: 4f2b27d6-8e1b-11eb-a9be-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.3.0.98
Components Version: 1.0.1217
Update Package Version: 1.0.38723
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: 233560
Threats Detected: 18
Threats Quarantined: 18
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 24 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|nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald, Quarantined, 16213, 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\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\NFFFLPAJBCHHCNBLNEDGBDONDPBBHALD, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, 1.0.38723, , ame, , , 

File: 14
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16213, 828115, , , , , 0C72F01BD8546323E95DDF56203156E5, 63A1CAEA35436804DA17C2C4A7718DB58E50ED504956C5FCBB90A247B25819A8
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16213, 828115, , , , , 8FDC94FC6F8694FA776DE91EB8015B10, D22231118FD05B55DA584F2362AB5733B032E651FF756B39639A3442AFE9CF4B
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\000003.log, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 646D9C8D38B9AB8CE7E554CB56E7D463, F232664DA6B83F414E3816FE96BC60E00BA53AF5F1E3F97B19E70B4A937747E9
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\LOCK, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\LOG, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 70849E7D40BB0B9850E2B734048D9782, 7967B8C1E3757194ADC99FF61F543DA62FFCBEE51DDDF15EC53EF866853AF78D
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\LOG.old, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 9EB77B5B283B5A58FD605B476738908A, 11456962D8F263B04794B62BBAF49E7984B4271A6DC63C8B59E2227723EECCC0
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Local Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\000003.log, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 188157BE4692F62927478C491E352750, 4EF43973EAC2559FA08924E1A220889F44E365E1BCF8192022E41FCFAC9AC862
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\LOCK, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , , 
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\LOG, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 9674A18DC424B9E4BC0796CBE59720D7, 088CC61D94808BC646AFE5C266054ED6C6D1BC8349F1B2F6EA750316B9650AB6
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\nffflpajbchhcnblnedgbdondpbbhald\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
PUP.Optional.SearchHijack.Generic.ChrPRST, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\NFFFLPAJBCHHCNBLNEDGBDONDPBBHALD\1.0.3_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16213, 828115, 1.0.38723, , ame, , 2800E64E013A90DD7DAEAD4B11266356, FED1786AACBF28808819C3CCCF68B0D4C3FC4616C8386FB9826BA8777F1A7C7F

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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