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.