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What is ThePDFConverterSearch?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that ThePDFConverterSearch 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 uses browser push notifications and changes your default search engine.

notifications.png

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

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 these changed settings:

warning5.png

How did ThePDFConverterSearch 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 ThePDFConverterSearch?

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 ThePDFConverterSearch?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes ThePDFConverterSearch 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 ThePDFConverterSearch 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://get.thepdfconvertersearch.com
CHR DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.thepdfconvertersearch.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=thepdfconvertersearch&barcodeid=579790000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> ThePDFConverterSearch
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.thepdfconvertersearch.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (ThePDFConverterSearch) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd [2021-08-10]

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\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 2192 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 6255 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="9/1/2020 2:20 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="9/1/2020 2:20 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 5213 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 572 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 2547 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="9/1/2020 2:20 PM, 514574 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="9/1/2020 2:20 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd
       Adds the file 000003.log"="8/10/2021 11:27 AM, 843 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 367 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd
       Adds the file ThePDFConverterSearch.ico"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 177705 bytes, A
       Adds the file ThePDFConverterSearch.ico.md5"="8/10/2021 11:24 AM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
------------------------------------------------
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome\PreferenceMACs\Default\extensions.settings]
       "ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd"="REG_SZ", "9F911D03CFEB4C14805BE58A0584659B1502834BDC1E088090373F01A1415F89"

Malwarebytes log:
 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 8/10/21
Scan Time: 11:33 AM
Log File: 00976526-f9be-11eb-9588-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.4.4.126
Components Version: 1.0.1413
Update Package Version: 1.0.44002
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: 258186
Threats Detected: 12
Threats Quarantined: 12
Time Elapsed: 1 min, 50 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|ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd, Quarantined, 16786, 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\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\IBBBCNOECFIBIFDCLGBDAOOHDJPJHAHD, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, 1.0.44002, , ame, , , 

File: 9
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16786, 799722, , , , , AC867AA1DDFA0FE48A9754A84FBEAA60, BBFD3800CC2D32AB4360A6FFE3DF65557C26F39023D3556AE9FFE4EF46845435
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16786, 799722, , , , , 0809B71D09614A804B1854BCD6F3A85E, 4C20B8DA32E8E14C300230A8FB0CF70EE16AD311E180D127A694F090F4807B7A
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\000003.log, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, , , , , 2C48A673529225DC6FC6A6294DA5BDE5, 891DA07943C426BE32A405CBF6025149705083557FCFDFA0AAB7C2D2329F571E
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\LOCK, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\LOG, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, , , , , 131B88EA292B0BA7A8B9825B74C30B6C, D80228C7C0A993732526F5CEB10E9456284EBD1AB36F228125E3C3AB348D6E68
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\ibbbcnoecfibifdclgbdaoohdjpjhahd\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\IBBBCNOECFIBIFDCLGBDAOOHDJPJHAHD\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16786, 799722, 1.0.44002, , ame, , 01BAFE136CCA181304CC4C6B9345A696, A323813A7E81EC2CE4073DBAC6C048B7226ADECAF40403780AAFCA7A406E508C
PUP.Optional.PushNotifications, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 203, 846248, 1.0.44002, , ame, , 0809B71D09614A804B1854BCD6F3A85E, 4C20B8DA32E8E14C300230A8FB0CF70EE16AD311E180D127A694F090F4807B7A

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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