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.
|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 Maker |
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.
- 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.