The article will aid you to remove PDF King completely. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions provided at the bottom of this article.
Its website will redirect you to its search engine or another malicious site. While using its services, you can find yourself on pages with lots of adverts and sponsored content that go through this hijacker. The hijacker will change the start page, new tab, and search settings for the browser applications you have on your computer machine.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Each browser application on your computer could get affected. The hijacker can redirect you and will display lots of advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Browser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and the new tab.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by PDF King |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss PDF King.|
PDF King Hijacker – Methods of Distribution
The PDF King hijacker is а malicious web browser extension which is distributed via the most popular methods. Threats like this one are predominantly uploaded to the repositories of the most popular browsers, usually with fake user reviews and developer credentials. Through the elaborate descriptions posted they promise feature additions or performance optimizations.
Large campaigns are being delivered using email SPAM messages which use social engineering tactics in order to confuse the recipients into thinking that they have received a message from a well-known company or service that they might be using. The body contents will feature links to the hijacker code, in other cases they can be attached to the messages.
The malicious actors behind the PDF King hijacker can also create malicious web sites which also use phishing strategies. They can pose as vendor download pages, product landing sites or Internet portals.
Hijackers like this may also be spread via infected payload carriers:
- Modified Application Installers — The hackers can embed the necessary PDF King hijacker code into the setup files of well-known software that is popularly downloaded by end users: productivity, system utilities, office apps and even games. Whenever the installers are run the hijacker will be delivered to the systems, in some cases even if the setup procedure is cancelled.
- Document Scripts — Malicious macros can be the cause of infections with the PDF King hijacker. This is done by embedding such code into all popular document types: rich text documents, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the victims a prompt will be spawned asking them to enable the required interactive features in order to view the document. This activation will lead to the malware deployment.
These infected payloads can also be uploaded to file-sharing networks like BitTorrent where both legitimate contents and pirate software is shared.
PDF King Hijacker – In-Depth Description
As the PDF King hijacker infection is caused via browser plugins it can access all stored contents within. Coupled with a data harvesting module, if configured so, this can lead to the gathering of sensitive information. Two groups of data can be distinguished:
- Personal Information — Using the tracking modules and other technology the hijacker can hijack information that can directly reveal the identity of the victims by searching for strings related to their name, address, phone number and location. If any passwords and login credentials are identified they will be stolen as well.
- Device Metrics — Every single machine will be assigned an unique ID which will be generated using an algorithm that takes its input from values such as the following: installed hardware components, user and regional settings and environment values.
The end-result of the PDF King hijacker infection would be the manipulation of the browser settings. The users will find that once they open them up their default settings might be changed in order to redirect them to a hacker-controlled landing page. Values that are affected include the default home page, new tabs page and search engine.
The main browser hijacker page will show a template-based search engine which is made up of three main areas:
- Top Menu Bar — This will toggle between the search engines results types, at the moment the following options are available: Web, Images and Videos.
- Main Search Engine — It contains the main search engine with the conversion box underneath it.
The main task of this threat is to coerce the users into using the advertised service — conversion of file formats to PDF. The users are offered a box that looks that will ask for the files to be uploaded. WARNING! All user-uploaded data will be made available to the operators of the service. If a malicious script is activated the returned files can include various malware code.
Other dangerous consequences of having this infection active on the compromised machines includes the load of tracking cookies which will record all user interactions with the page. The collected information may be uploaded to databases which may be shared between several hijacker sites. When they have accumulated enough information they can be offered to interested buyers on the hacker underground markets for sale.
It is possible that the malware threat is deployed in a persistent way which will make removal very difficult. The route of infection is due to changes to the computer settings: boot options, configuration files and other areas of the operating system. This also renders many manual user removal guides non-working.
A main goal of most hijackers like this one is the presentation of advertising and sponsored content. Theses sites are configured in such a way that generates a small income for the operators with every user click or interaction wih such content. This is also carried over to the search engine results — the pages will not display the best possible results but instead focus on such content. Popular forms of such content includes pop-ups, banners, redirects and etc.
Having such infections active on a given host also makes it possible to deliver other types of malware as well. Common examples include the following:
- Trojans — They will setup a connection between the local hosts and the malicious operators which allows the hackers to take over control of the machines. Such allow the controllers to hijack user data and also steal all kinds of files — both system owned and those belonging to the users.
- Ransomware — These are among the most dangerous malware as they will encrypt sensitive user data with a strong cipher and then demand that a ransom sum is paid to restore the system. They typically will use a built-in list that targets the most popular file type extensions.
- Miners — Cryptocurrency miners are scripts or small stand-alone programs that download resource-intensive tasks that are run on the compromised machines. Whenever one of the tasks is reported to the servers the malicious actors will receive income in the form of digital cryptocurrency that will be directly wired to their accounts.
Remove PDF King Browser Hijacker
To remove PDF King manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker redirect and its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer safe in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove PDF King from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of PDF King from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove PDF King from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase PDF King from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall PDF King from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove PDF King from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate PDF King from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove PDF King from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PDF King
Step 2: Uninstall PDF King and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by PDF King on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by PDF King there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of PDF King from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall PDF King and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove PDF King via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove PDF King files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PDF King, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove PDF King from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase PDF King from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall PDF King from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove PDF King from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PDF King will be removed.
Eliminate PDF King from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.