WinYahoo PUP changes Secure Preferences in Chrome Browser
Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) tend to interfere with everyday computer use by placing advertisements, tool-bars in web browsers and resorting to other nefarious tactics. Options that generally trick you into installing potentially unwanted programs are common during the setup of free tools and programs. WinYahoo is one such program that borrows tricks from malware authors to inject malware in your system.
WinYahoo PUP hijacks browser preferences
It requires expert skills and experience to identify all the files of WinYahoo infection. Like a lot of unwanted software, WinYahoo comes bundled in with a parent installer (md5: 41e092385fb06a3087cd0027375e2288). The mentioned file is a bundler for Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition. The bundler allows the software to modify Google Chrome’s secure preferences without being detected by the browser.
Secure preferences in Chrome are located in a file called “Secure Preferences”. In the Secure Preferences file, there resides a section called “protection” where various user preferences are stored along with a generated hash value known as a Message Authentication Code (MAC).
The MAC is used to protect the integrity of the data and therefore any changes made to it raises red flags. These MAC values are checked when the browser loads along with another MAC called the “super_mac”. WinYahoo PUP makes these changes successfully by calculating new MACs, thus hijacking the user preferences.
The extension exhibits the rather annoying feature of creating new tabs in web browsers with advertisements. In one case, a Tech Support Scam was presented, a topic discussed in the earlier past by us.
A post-graduate in Biotechnology, Hemant switched gears to writing about Microsoft technologies and has been a contributor to TheWindowsClub since then. When he is not working, you can usually find him out traveling to different places or indulging himself in binge-watching.