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What is PDFConverterSearchOnline?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that PDFConverterSearchOnline is a browser 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 PDFConverterSearchOnline?

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


and this changed setting:


You may have noticed these warnings during install:





How did PDFConverterSearchOnline 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 PDFConverterSearchOnline?

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 PDFConverterSearchOnline?

  • No, Malwarebytes removes PDFConverterSearchOnline 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 PDFConverterSearchOnline 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 DefaultSearchURL: Default -> hxxps://feed.pdfconvertersearchonline.com/?q={searchTerms}&publisher=pdfconvertersearchonline&barcodeid=590490000000000
CHR DefaultSearchKeyword: Default -> PDFConverterSearchOnline
CHR DefaultSuggestURL: Default -> hxxps://api.pdfconvertersearchonline.com/suggest/get?q={searchTerms}
CHR Extension: (PDFConverterSearchOnline) - C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd [2021-09-08]

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\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\1.1.0_0
       Adds the file manifest.json"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 2228 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\1.1.0_0\_metadata
       Adds the file computed_hashes.json"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 6725 bytes, A
       Adds the file verified_contents.json"="2/10/2021 3:27 PM, 2049 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\1.1.0_0\images
       Adds the file logo-white-text.png"="2/10/2021 3:27 PM, 0 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\1.1.0_0\images\icons
       Adds the file 128x128.png"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 2289 bytes, A
       Adds the file 16x16.png"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 418 bytes, A
       Adds the file 64x64.png"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 1202 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\1.1.0_0\scripts
       Adds the file background.js"="2/10/2021 3:27 PM, 553547 bytes, A
       Adds the file sitecontent.js"="2/10/2021 3:27 PM, 77 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd
       Adds the file 000003.log"="9/8/2021 1:01 PM, 507 bytes, A
       Adds the file CURRENT"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 16 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOCK"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 0 bytes, A
       Adds the file LOG"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 369 bytes, A
       Adds the file MANIFEST-000001"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 41 bytes, A
    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Applications\_crx_hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchOnline.ico"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 165607 bytes, A
       Adds the file PDFConverterSearchOnline.ico.md5"="9/8/2021 12:58 PM, 16 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd"="REG_SZ", "E16CAB2C4450E57C2B5666D3830FE5EBE10A60858113219B868925EC8CAC5428"

Malwarebytes log:


-Log Details-
Scan Date: 9/8/21
Scan Time: 1:04 PM
Log File: 980d4c58-1094-11ec-b450-080027235d76.json

-Software Information-
Components Version: 1.0.1453
Update Package Version: 1.0.44750
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: 259060
Threats Detected: 11
Threats Quarantined: 11
Time Elapsed: 2 min, 21 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|hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd, Quarantined, 16899, 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\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\HCMCPFKFANGFAFGAMMPGKHBIOGCHFEGD, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, 1.0.44750, , ame, , , 

File: 8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Secure Preferences, Replaced, 16899, 799722, , , , , E4C9E3ADEEF6EA16E55E4DEEE539029C, 963FEF36AB93DFA4707757D1D07E8F9CB80200A1E0F22C0A884CDB22E91B0108
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\Default\Preferences, Replaced, 16899, 799722, , , , , 225CF683484EFA82ABBCF43173FC3C60, 9A41E446E47999F972A902CA76B8B42473F00317CBCF69CF9DF1E4F7A83FD9B8
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\000003.log, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, , , , , A5B672FC1DCAD9AAEA77DA00492295DF, 9C5B1D058484CC233ED04A9B0EBC070C086802BCB4310987615245564D5F8F59
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\CURRENT, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, , , , , 46295CAC801E5D4857D09837238A6394, 0F1BAD70C7BD1E0A69562853EC529355462FCD0423263A3D39D6D0D70B780443
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\LOCK, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, , , , , , 
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\LOG, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, , , , , 266A18F4AB3BC632C5EA58F9226042D6, 1A412839B580209D7F55600A1677603F026ABF8FBADF981EB2C69AC92954EE8D
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Sync Extension Settings\hcmcpfkfangfafgammpgkhbiogchfegd\MANIFEST-000001, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, , , , , 5AF87DFD673BA2115E2FCF5CFDB727AB, F9D31B278E215EB0D0E9CD709EDFA037E828F36214AB7906F612160FEAD4B2B4
Adware.SearchEngineHijack.Generic, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\EXTENSIONS\HCMCPFKFANGFAFGAMMPGKHBIOGCHFEGD\1.1.0_0\MANIFEST.JSON, Quarantined, 16899, 799722, 1.0.44750, , ame, , B631F44B28FED52C4F7BCC29D1903019, D6B296187432CF661E1114E8CEF787C75790D44C2FF354D95A2D7ED1D061A268

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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