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What is SearchFor?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that SearchFor 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 also a browser NewTab.

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

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


these changed settings:


and this new startpage:


You may have noticed these warnings during install:



How did SearchFor 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 SearchFor?

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 SearchFor?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes SearchFor completely.

How would the full version of Malwarebytes help protect me?

We hope our application and this guide have helped you eradicate this hijacker.

Malwarebytes Browser Guard, as well as the full version of Malwarebytes would have protected you against the SearchFor 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 NewTab: Default ->  Active:"chrome-extension://cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm/index.html"
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://searchfor.cc/searchkeyword.php?tab=def&keyword={searchTerms}
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> SearchFor
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://searchfor.cc/searchkeyword.php?tab=sug&keyword={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (Bing) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm [2021-05-20]

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\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm\3.2_0
       Adds the file footer.html"="4/23/2021 11:23 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file iframe.html"="8/12/2016 4:59 PM, 2930 bytes, A
       Adds the file index.html"="7/8/2020 11:41 AM, 2034 bytes, A
       Adds the file login.html"="8/15/2016 4:43 PM, 2252 bytes, A
       Adds the file manifest.json"="5/20/2021 12:22 PM, 1517 bytes, A
       Adds the file search.html"="4/23/2021 10:52 AM, 1068 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm\3.2_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="5/20/2021 12:22 PM, 23930 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="5/14/2021 3:41 PM, 5871 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm\3.2_0\css
       Adds the file bootstrap.min.css"="7/6/2016 5:46 PM, 121260 bytes, A
       Adds the file css.css"="7/5/2016 8:11 PM, 21764 bytes, A
       Adds the file font-awesome.min.css"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 28759 bytes, A
       Adds the file style.css"="7/8/2020 11:44 AM, 8178 bytes, A
       Adds the file style_old.css"="7/5/2016 5:56 PM, 5851 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm\3.2_0\fonts
       Adds the file FontAwesome.otf"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 123112 bytes, A
       Adds the file fontawesome-webfont.eot"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 75220 bytes, A
       Adds the file fontawesome-webfont.svg"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 386421 bytes, A
       Adds the file fontawesome-webfont.ttf"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 150920 bytes, A
       Adds the file fontawesome-webfont.woff"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 89076 bytes, A
       Adds the file fontawesome-webfont.woff2"="7/4/2016 2:15 PM, 70728 bytes, A
       Adds the file glyphicons-halflings-regular.eot"="7/6/2016 5:47 PM, 20127 bytes, A
       Adds the file glyphicons-halflings-regular.svg"="7/6/2016 5:47 PM, 108738 bytes, A
       Adds the file glyphicons-halflings-regular.ttf"="7/6/2016 5:47 PM, 45404 bytes, A
       Adds the file glyphicons-halflings-regular.woff"="7/6/2016 5:47 PM, 23424 bytes, A
       Adds the file glyphicons-halflings-regular.woff2"="7/6/2016 5:47 PM, 18028 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm\3.2_0\images
       Adds the file icon.png"="4/23/2021 10:54 AM, 1333 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon128.png"="5/20/2021 12:22 PM, 4177 bytes, A
       Adds the file icon16.png"="5/20/2021 12:22 PM, 500 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm\3.2_0\js
       Adds the file angular.min.js"="8/11/2016 5:08 PM, 147735 bytes, A
       Adds the file angular-route.min.js"="8/11/2016 5:08 PM, 4390 bytes, A
       Adds the file app.js"="4/20/2017 11:35 AM, 746 bytes, A
       Adds the file background.js"="4/23/2021 11:03 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file bootstrap.min.js"="7/6/2016 2:28 PM, 27726 bytes, A
       Adds the file config.js"="4/23/2021 11:22 AM, 222 bytes, A
       Adds the file controllers.js"="8/15/2017 11:57 AM, 1662 bytes, A
       Adds the file facebook.service.js"="8/11/2016 8:26 PM, 2526 bytes, A
       Adds the file ga.js"="4/20/2017 11:35 AM, 505 bytes, A
       Adds the file jquery-1.10.0.js"="7/4/2016 7:48 PM, 273810 bytes, A
       Adds the file ngopenfb.js"="4/12/2017 4:51 PM, 2326 bytes, A
       Adds the file openfb.js"="8/12/2016 4:10 PM, 12594 bytes, A
       Adds the file search.js"="5/14/2021 3:31 PM, 983 bytes, A
       Adds the file services.js"="4/19/2017 1:45 PM, 1885 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm"="REG_SZ", "4B9E17824ED1D182E6CFC6352E609C47E6F57678BEFB3A4020E5312D757C1F43"

Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 5/20/21
Scan Time: 12:38 PM
Log File: 82e6a386-b957-11eb-b9f5-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.1292
Update Package Version: 1.0.40684
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: 234378
Threats Detected: 5
Threats Quarantined: 5
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 2 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.SearchFor, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|cbkcpcldhkajnghcepghlhkjaebdaedm, Quarantined, 16384, 941770, , , , , , 

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 1

File: 3
PUP.Optional.SearchFor, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16384, 941770, , , , , 8A4254BCEA63D9B3718DB50484CC2FF2, 2569C2D95A651E6F2DE4C8B9ABA62BD3ED6AD6E0D0932D3CB349FE4A2AC55C6F
PUP.Optional.SearchFor, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16384, 941770, , , , , 02CBACD10DD1B2704EA52E6D950559B7, E2D834B28499A450517F4B3BC79335111937F19A4A3309714D900863384B0E07
PUP.Optional.SearchFor, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\CBKCPCLDHKAJNGHCEPGHLHKJAEBDAEDM\3.2_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16384, 941770, 1.0.40684, , ame, , 0E084C4383FFB8710B4782379E68190C, 10CD5188F9D6AFFAFAA02F24D1D613B1D76F4BC37910219B8F16C2FDFCD6A74B

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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