THREAT REMOVAL

Remove PDF Maker Browser Hijacker

The article will aid you to remove PDF Maker 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.

Threat Summary

Name PDF Maker
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 malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss PDF Maker.

PDF Maker Hijacker – Methods of Distribution

The PDF Maker hijacker is advertised using several of the popular redirect distribution tactics. The primary ones is the upload of extensions made for the most popular extensions. They are frequently uploaded to their respective repositories using fake user reviews and developer credentials.

An alternative approach is to design fake web pages that will link to the browser extensions. They are made to impersonate well-known vendors, companies, Internet portals and search engines. When accessed through various web elements such as banners, redirects, pop-ups and in-line links the victims will be directed to the hijacker download.

Popular sources of such infections are also the following two payload carriers:

  • Application Installers — Browser hijacker bundles can be made by taking the legitimate installers of popular end-user software and adding in the deployment code. Such examples include creativity solutions, system utilities and office applications. Whenever they are installed during the setup phase the PDF Maker hijacker will also be deployed.
  • Malicious Documents — The virus code can be inserted by scripts that are embedded in all popular document types: presentations, rich text documents, spreadsheets and databases. Whenever they are opened by the users a prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done they will be activated and the infection will follow.

To further convince users into installing the browser extensions the criminals can coordinate email phishing campaigns. Much like the fake web pages they will use elements taken from well-known sources in order to manipulate the users into thinking that they have received a legitimate message. The install files are usually directly attached to the emails or the payloads are linked in the body contents.

PDF Maker Hijacker – In-Depth Description

When the PDF Maker hijacker is installed on the target browsers their settings might be changed to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page by manipulating the default options: default home page, search engine and new tabs page.

The PDF Maker page will be advertised as a legitimate service used to convert various documents into PDF files. However several security reports that there is a malicious version of it available. Upon accessing the users will install numerous tracking cookies into their systems. They can be coupled with a stand-alone data harvesting engine and as a result user data and machine information will be hijacked. They can be grouped into two main categories:

  • User Information — This data can be used to directly expose the identities of the victim users. This is done by looking out for strings such as their name, address, geographical location and any stored account credentials. This is done by analyzing both the local hard drive contents, but also the memory of the operating system and data files belonging to any third-party software.
  • Campaign Metrics — This group of data is used by the hackers to analyze and optimize the distribution of the hijacker. It includes statistics such as installed hardware information, regional settings and user preferences.

One of the reasons why PDF Maker infections are popular is the fact that the file conversion service is partially working. This creates a false sense of trust however the researchers note that this is made in order to keep the cookies installed for as long as possible.

We expect that further customizations to its code can lead to typical malicious behavior as exhibited by other similar threats of this category. Such actions include the following:

  • Additional Payload Deployment — The PDF Maker hijacker can be used a conduit for other malicious infections: ransomware, Trojans, ransomware and etc.
  • Miner Infections — Cryptocurrency miners are widely deployed via both hijackers and the sites that they redirect to. They can take the form of a stand-alone application or a JavaScript code that will be launched as soon as it is accessed. Its engine will download complex mathematical tasks that will take advantage of the available system resources (CPU, GPU, memory and disk space). Whenever one of them is reported to the associated server the operators will receive cryptocurrency income that will be automatically transferred to their digital wallets.
  • Windows Registry and System Changes — The malicious engine will access and modify Windows Registry values, configuration files and other important data that belongs to the installed applications and operating system. This can cause overall performance issues, problems with accessing certain functions and running software.
  • Security Bypass and Persistent Installation — The engine will scan the system for any installed security software that can block the virus: anti-virus programs, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments. Their real-time engines will be disabled or completely removed, alternatively the hijacker will delete itself to avoid detection. When they are deleted the hijacker will install itself in a way which will make it very difficult to remove using manual methods.
  • Data Removal — To make recovery more difficult the PDF Maker hijacker engine may identify and remove Shadow Volume Copies and System Backups. System restore is difficult due to the fact that the vicims will be required to use a combination of a professional-grade data recovery software and an anti-spyware solution.
  • Trojan Infection — Advanced configuration options can also include the deployment and launch of a Trojan virus. When it is executed it will initiate a secure and constant connection with a hacker server. The established link will allow the criminal operators to spy on the victims in real-time, take over control of their systems and also add other viruses.

The redirect site (if accessed and shown) shows a Yahoo-customized search engine. By itself it does not look like a malicious instance and the victim users cannot tell the difference between it and the real site. However the fact that it is a customized engine means that for the produced queries the best possible results will not shown. The users may be shown sponsored or false links that can infect them with more threats.

The malicious copies of the PDF Maker hijacker may also use various redirects, pop-ups and banners to coerce the users into buying certain products or services. For every purchase or user interaction with such sites and results the operators will receive a percentage of the income.

Remove PDF Maker Browser Hijacker

To remove PDF Maker 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.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove PDF Maker from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PDF Maker

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall PDF Maker 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by PDF Maker on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by PDF Maker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for PDF Maker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of PDF Maker from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall PDF Maker and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to PDF Maker:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to PDF Maker. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to PDF Maker. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Maker 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as PDF Maker. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove PDF Maker 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase PDF Maker 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall PDF Maker 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove PDF Maker 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PDF Maker will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate PDF Maker 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.


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