The article will help you to remove PDF Convert Tab fully. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions given at the end of the article.
The PDF Convert Tab redirect is a recently discovered browser plugin that can be used for hijacker purposes. Interaction with it can hijack personal data belonging to the victims. Our in-depth article explores some of the dangers associated with its presence on infected hosts.
|Name||PDF Convert Tab|
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||The hijacker redirect can alter the homepage, search engine and new tab on every browser application you have installed.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab and search engine of all your browsers will be switched to PDF Convert Tab. You will be redirected and could see sponsored content.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by PDF Convert Tab |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss PDF Convert Tab.|
PDF Convert Tab – Distribution Methods
PDF Convert Tab is a standard browser hijacker and web site redirect that is being distributed using the commonly available methods. Like other similar threats it uses several different mechanisms at once to increase the number of infected clients.
At the moment the most noteworthy distribution tactic is its installation from the browser plugin repositories.It is made compatible with the most popular applications and the relevant pages use elaborate descriptions together with fake developer credentials and user reviews.
The hackers behind the PDF Convert Tab redirect can create email SPAM messages that are sent in bulk to the respective users. The messages are composed using social engineering techniques that blackmail, persuade or coerce the users into interacting with the malicious elements. They also serve as one of the primary sources of infected payloads. They are also found on fake download sites that are made with the same templates that are used on the famous Internet portals. Two of the most popular types are the following:
- Software Installers — The criminals can take the legitimate installers of widely used applications and embed the dangerous virus code into them. Usual targets are system utilities, creativity suites, productivity programs and etc.
- Documents — The same technique is used to infect documents of different types: spreadsheets, text files, presentations and databases. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt appears that asks the victims to enable the built-in scripts (macros). Once this is done the virus infection follows.
The hacker operators can spread the PDF Convert Tab redirect using malicious web scripts such as pop-ups, banners, redirects, in-line hyperlinks and etc.
PDF Convert Tab – Detailed Description
The PDF Convert Tab redirect is mainly delivered using a browser hijacker which presents several web browser changes. As the infections stems from the hijacker, it can instantly access all stored contents within: cookies, bookmarks, history, passwords, settings and etc. Once the threat is installed on the client machines it will change the default settings to point to the hacker-controlled site: default home page, new tabs page and search engine.
Depending on the exact configuration of the threat and its intended targets it can cause different effects on the machines. In many cases this includes the Windows Registry where the redirect can target both entries belonging to the operating system or the user-installed applications. When the Windows registry is changed overall performance can suffer while changes to the individual application strings can result in the disruption of certain functions.
The active PDF Convert Tab redirect can also be used to execute a hacker-controlled server connection. It leads to a Trojan-like infection where the criminal operators can spy on the victims in real time, as well as take over control of the machines. This can be used to install additional threats to the victim hosts as well.
Once the hijacker is installed on the victim browsers it will instantly redirect the users to the target site. Similar redirects like this one usually contain a pre-generated list of addresses that are placed in its engine.
When the associated web browser is started for the first time an information gathering module is started. It is able to harvest sensitive data from the target computers which is grouped into two main categories:
- Privacy-Invasive Data — The engine is configured to harvest strings that can directly expose the identity of the victims: their name address, location, interests, telephone number, passwords and etc.
- Campaign Metrics — The engine can be configured to extract information that can optimize the distribution campaigns. Example data includes the a complete profile of the installed hardware components.
The browser redirect shows a typical search engine template that includes options for converting files to PDF using a third party service. It is devised of several elements:
- Top Menu Bar — It includes a search engine box that uses the same engine as the main one placed in the center.
- Main Search Engine — It is the main interactive element of the page. It aims to attact the redirected users into using it.
An example is the collection of the following data:
- Social Media Accounts & Usage — Whenever a social media service is accessed through the relevant browser hijacker the user data can be accessed by the service as well.
- Email Data — If the PDF Convert Tab redirect links the users to an affiliate email service all of the inbox contents can be made accessible to them.
- Other Sites Interactions — The tracking cookies can give the operators an overview of the victim’s usage of all web sites, not just the ones that they directly control.
- Sensitive Data — This includes metrics associated with the victims themselves — data that can be directly expose their identity such as their name, address, telephone number and etc.
Remove PDF Convert Tab Browser Hijacker
To remove PDF Convert Tab manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions given below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the browser hijacker entirely, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software helps keep your computer secure in the future. We remind our readers that certain hijackers (most likely this one as well) are configured to harvest the information to a database shared with other similar threats.