The creators of the notorious Youndoo adware have come up with a new trick to ensure their annoying browser hijacker is harder to detect, and then keep showing up over and over again.

The most recent variants of this adware are now capable of hijacking Chrome browsers by creating a hidden Chrome user profile.

Chrome user profiles are a set of specific browser settings associated with a Google account. Malwarebytes, who detected this version , says the Youndoo adware makes a copy of the current user's profile and activates instead of the original.

Adware copies data from the user's real Chrome profile

The adware copies the user's browser history and settings, except the ones for the user's homepage and default search engine. For these, it uses the Youndoo search engine, after which the adware takes its name.

The purpose of hijacking users' browser homepage URL and default search engine is to drive traffic to the Youndoo site, and gain revenue for its administrators.

This is not the first time adware has used extra profiles to hijack browsers. The adware families named HohoSearch and GsearchFinder hijack Firefox browsers by also employing a hidden profile.

A hidden windows Scheduled Task persists the infection

But fake profiles are just one of the many tools at the disposal of these crooks. Other tricks used by browser-hijacking adware includes altered browser shortcuts, hidden services, and scheduled tasks.

For its part, Youndoo also employs the latter. In case users notice the Chrome profile that has taken over their browser and delete it, they'll find it resurfacing a few hours or days later.

Malwarebytes' Pieter Arntz says this is happening because of a hidden Scheduled Task, which Youndoo created when it first infected the user. The infection usually occurs via bundled installers that ship PUPs .

The good news is that because of Youndoo's "success and popularity," most anti-malware and malware removal tools are capable to uninstalling this threat. Below is how a hijacked Chrome browser looks like when the user's PC is infected with Youndoo.


Youndoo Adware Keeps Coming Back via Chrome Profile and Windows Scheduled Task

A brower hijacked by the Youndoo adware

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