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22Find.com Browser Hijacker Removal Guide

By on April 3, 2013 @ 11:18 AM | Last Updated: August 14, 2013 | Read 54,634 times.
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The 22Find.com adware is a browser hijacker that is commonly bundled with a variety of free software that you can download from the Internet. 22Find is considered a browser hijacker because it changes your web browser's home page and default search provider to 22find.com without your permission. This in itself is not considered malicious as there are many legitimate programs that change these settings as well. What is considered malicious, though, is that it does not provide the ability to revert these settings or remove the program from computer and thus requires you to use specialized tools to remove it. Furthermore, this adware will append the argument http://www.22find.com/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=<hard drive id>&ts=<timestamp> to various web browser shortcuts. This causes the 22find.com web page to open when you launch one of these hijacked shortcuts.

 

22Find.com Browser Hijacker Screen shot
22Find.com Browser Hijacker Screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 1 images you can view.

 

As you can see, this hijacker was created to make it difficult to clean up as even though you may remove the adware, the affected shortcuts will still remain. To remove this browser hijacker and clean the affected shortcuts, please use the removal guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View 22Find.com files.
View 22Find.com Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant = http://search.22find.com/web/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996710
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,CustomizeSearch = http://search.22find.com/web/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996710
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CheckRun22find_uninstaller] "%AppData%\CheckRun22find.exe" -c=http://www.22find.com/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HSad64b62

 

Guide Updates:

04/03/13 - Initial guide creation.
08/14/13 - Updated for new Adwcleaner instructions

 


Automated Removal Instructions for 22Find.com using AdwCleaner, Shortcut Cleaner, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. This removal process may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and the various programs used. Please do not be concerned as it is only written this way to give you clear and easy instructions so that anyone can use this guide. Before using this guide, you should print out these instructions and close any open programs and files as your web browser will need to be closed and your computer rebooted later in this fix.

  2. Before we do anything we first want to download Rkill in order to terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

  3. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with 22Find.com and other malware. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.

    Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.


  4. When Rkill has finished, you now need to download AdwCleaner and save it to your desktop. AdwCleaner will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can download AdwCleaner from the following URL:

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

  5. When AdwCleaner has finished downloading, please double-click on the AdwCleaner.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon the AdwCleaner program will open and you will be presented with its start screen as shown below. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.


    AdwCleaner Start Screen

  6. Now click on the Scan button in AdwCleaner. The program will now start to search for known adware programs that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display all of the items it has found in Results section of the screen above. Please look through the results and try to determine if the programs that are listed contain ones that you do not want installed. If you find programs that you need to keep, then uncheck the entries associated with them.

    For most people, the contents of the Results section may appear confusing or as gibberish. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed, please continue with the next step.

  7. To remove the adware programs that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button on the AdwCleaner screen. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer



    AdwCleaner Reboot Prompt

    Please click on the OK button to let AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

  8. When your computer reboots and you are logged in, AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer.



    AdwCleaner Log

    Please review this log file and then close the Notepad Window.

  9. Unfortunately, 22Find.com also hijacks your web browser shortcuts so that the 22Find.com home page will open when you start your web browser in a certain way. To fix these shortcuts you need to use a program called Shortcut Cleaner. Please download and save Shortcut Cleaner to your desktop using the following link:

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/shortcut-cleaner/

  10. Once the program has been downloaded, please double-click on the sc-cleaner.exe icon that will now be on your desktop. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Shortcut Cleaner, please allow it to run. Once the program starts, it will scan your computer for hijacked shortcuts and clean them. When it has finished it will display a log file that contains a list of all Windows shortcuts that were hijacked and disinfected.



    Shortcut Cleaner Log

    After reviewing this log file, please close the Notepad window and continue with the next step.

  11. You should now download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any other possible infections to be safe. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)

  12. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including any open browser windows.

  13. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  14. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  15. MBAM will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program before performing a scan. As MBAM will automatically update itself after the install, you can press the OK button to close that box and you will now be at the main program as shown below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

  16. On the Scanner tab, make sure the the Perform full scan option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for 22Find.com related files.

  17. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan. When MBAM is scanning it will look like the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scanning Screen

  18. When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scan Finished Screen

    You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the 22Find.com browser hijacker removal process.

  19. You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

  20. A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown as seen in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  21. When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad window.

  22. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  23. As many malware and unwanted programs are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

    How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

 

Your computer should now be free of the 22Find.com browser hijacker program. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

 


 

Associated 22Find.com Files:

%AppData%\CheckRun22find.exe
%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\22find.lnk
%UserProfile%\Desktop\22find.lnk
c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins\22find.xml
c:\User Data\Default\Preferences
c:\User Data\Default\Web Data
c:\User Data\Default\Extensions\novo_price_comparison.crx
c:\WINDOWS\Fonts\segoeui.ttf

File Location Notes:

%UserProfile% refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> for Windows 2000/XP, C:\Users\<Current User> for Windows Vista/7/8, and c:\winnt\profiles\<Current User> for Windows NT.

%AppData% refers to the current users Application Data folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming.

 

Associated 22Find.com Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{33BB0A4E-99AF-4226-BDF6-49120163DE86}
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\Cache\Extensible Cache\MSHist012013040320130404
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\CheckRun22find_uninstaller
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "CheckRun22find_uninstaller" = %AppData%\CheckRun22find.exe" -c=http://www.22find.com/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=HD_VB9ad64b62"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\FIREFOX.EXE\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe http://www.22find.com/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\IEXPLORE.EXE\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe http://www.22find.com/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs "Tabs" = "http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main "Default_Page_URL" = "http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main "Start Page" = "http://www.22find.com/newtab?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996709"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search "CustomizeSearch" = "http://search.22find.com/web/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996710"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search "SearchAssistant" = "http://search.22find.com/web/?utm_source=b&utm_medium=mlv&from=mlv&uid=SEAGATE_HS9ad64b62-231b0130&ts=1364996710"

 


 

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.


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