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What is VideoSearchz?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that VideoSearchz 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 also uses browser push notifications and adds advertisements to your search results in the form of recommended searches.

notifications.png

recommendations.png

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

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

main.png

and these warnings during install:

warning1.png

warning3.png

warning4.png

and this changed setting:

warning5.png

How did VideoSearchz 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 VideoSearchz?

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 VideoSearchz?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes VideoSearchz 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 VideoSearchz 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 DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.video-searchz.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=videosearchz&barcodeid=573590000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> VideoSearchz
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.video-searchz.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (VideoSearchz) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko [2021-07-23]

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\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 2091 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="6/1/2020 4:30 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="6/1/2020 4:30 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 10631 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 700 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 4341 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="6/1/2020 4:30 PM, 514579 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="6/1/2020 4:30 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko
       Adds the file 000003.log"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 775 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 369 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko
       Adds the file VideoSearchz.ico"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 197731 bytes, A
       Adds the file VideoSearchz.ico.md5"="7/23/2021 9:23 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko"="REG_SZ", "DBD3A96F5BFCBE18D98300C3AC5C5EFF1809BD85FB4F8C51D234AA769E126243"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 7/23/21
Scan Time: 9:28 AM
Log File: 967edadc-eb87-11eb-8000-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.4.3.125
Components Version: 1.0.1387
Update Package Version: 1.0.43408
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: 257795
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 1 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
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, HKCU\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\PREFERENCEMACS\Default\extensions.settings|ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko, Quarantined, 16730, 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\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\PPJGLHFCKOEHPJOFHDLFENALIAMFCGKO, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, 1.0.43408, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16730, 799722, , , , , A797D136B24D90668DD6CBE49246D598, A695F27FEDE70C117540FB91C1AC6C8F261DE1C198A40D19AFABD2CB5379F538
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16730, 799722, , , , , 70252C45986CDA678EA8E2F7E9C5E735, B5E1BA4A4BC8C1CACF03BDD47FB0666B37374A97BBA5FFD6F80BFFF9FC553B5C
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\000003.log, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, , , , , 82D33F0939C04105C3C8D3BB9C58B403, A44C3EA7C60325C678075CF7C4DF070EA07C7E96874C2757F9B7178EA6A005AB
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\LOCK, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\LOG, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, , , , , DDF8F3A96AB9DA36DC5CF51189A54225, FA4F1E5E05986AF37E4F13ECC88B51205CF08624BDEE6C01E03E2E5AF0464C47
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ppjglhfckoehpjofhdlfenaliamfcgko\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\PPJGLHFCKOEHPJOFHDLFENALIAMFCGKO\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16730, 799722, 1.0.43408, , ame, , 433BA27035F5182912CF0CAB4B523CFC, 2598792620DB2485814D10DE3ED635CF6367508F9DB6D91DC0379D75ABAD3480

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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