PDFPower.exe Malware by MediaArena

Pdfpower.exe Malware
Pdfpower.exe Malware
Written by Robert Bailey
PDFPower.exe executable file is related to the MediaArena unwanted program, which acts as spyware. If you see this file running in your Task Manager, it is a matter of concern.

Our analysis reveals that the process PDFPower.exe is linked to an unwanted program. These programs often masquerade as legitimate applications, but doubts arise regarding their actual functionality. MediaArena, for example, exhibits features commonly found in spyware, such as screen capturing and keylogging. An indication of this malware’s activity is the unexpected opening of the goto[.]searchpoweronline[.]com page in your web browser.

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What is the PDFPower?


PDFpower is a malicious program, that takes control of your browser’s homepage and search engine, inundating your online experience with unwelcome advertisements devoid of any connection to the websites you intend to explore.

Furthermore, PDFpower acts as a browser hijacker that forcefully redirects your search queries through questionable search engines. Additionally, it initiates the automatic opening of new tabs in your browser, bombarding you with ads promoting software sales, counterfeit software updates, and deceptive tech support schemes.

PDFPower is associated with an unwanted program named MediaArena, which exhibits suspicious behavior similar to spyware. This program raises significant concerns due to its ability to covertly monitor user activity, capturing all keyboard and mouse clicks performed on the system. Moreover, MediaArena can take screenshots and transmit them to a remote command server. These activities strongly indicate the malicious intent of this program.

Another worrisome aspect is the modifications made to the browser when MediaArena is installed. Upon execution, the program opens the default browser and redirects it to the goto[.]searchpoweronline[.]com page. Additionally, MediaArena changes the default search engine to this page, potentially exposing all search queries to the operators of the website. This is yet another undesirable element of the program. Furthermore, PDFPower has the ability to spread itself to removable drives, which can be an unpleasant surprise for unsuspecting users who may inadvertently come into contact with it.

How dangerous is the PDFPower.exe?

Keystrokes logging performed by the PDFPower.exe may expose your login credentials

First off, PDFPower.exe will make your routine browser activities way harder. Aside from the aforementioned changes to the preferred search engine, malware also adds advertisements to all pages you visit. And don’t forget that anything you type is almost instantly transferred to hackers who stand behind the PDFPower malware. Some say privacy concerns are overestimated, but in this case you share almost every detail of your activity with a third party. Even for the least caring person, it is intimidating and unbearable.

PDFPower.exe Overview

File Name PDFPower.exe
Application PDFPower by MediaArena
Type Spyware
Detection Name BrowserModifier:MSIL/MediaArena, Adware.BundleInstaller.dd!c
Distribution Method Software bundling, Intrusive advertisement, redirects to shady sites etc.
Similar behavior Redline, Vidar
Removal Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware for automatic PDFPower.exe removal.

“Visible” damage is not a single unpleasant thing MediaArena PUA does to your system. To make its running process more convenient, malware changes a lot of Windows settings. To conduct all malevolent operations effectively, it wrecks the protection components and adjusts Group Policies. You will likely see your Microsoft Defender disabled – malware halts it to prevent recognition. If you open the HOSTS file, you will likely see several new entries – this malware brings them in to ease the connection to the C2 server. All these adjustments shall be reverted to the original in the process of PC recovery.

How did I get the PDFPower?

Unwanted programs are commonly spread via unwanted ads and in software bundles

Unwanted programs in their spreading model are pretty similar to adware and browser hijackers. In some cases, they spread each other by throwing users to deceiving websites or by showing them malicious ads. Any interaction with such pages or ads can infect your system with more and more malware. At some point, the system may become unusable just because it is clogged with blinking ads and constantly opening browser tabs.

Unwanted banners adware before PDFPower.exe

The example of malicious banners you can see in the Internet

Another method through which this entity can infiltrate your computer is by being downloaded from an unreliable website, often as a component within a software bundle. Individuals who distribute compromised versions of popular software (which don’t require a valid license key) have limited opportunities for monetary gain. Consequently, there exists a strong incentive to append other applications to the final package of the compromised software, earning compensation for each installation.

Before passing judgment on these individuals for engaging in hacking and disseminating malware, it’s essential to consider whether resorting to this method to avoid purchasing the software is acceptable. Opting for a one-time payment of $20-$30 proves far more economical than bearing the considerably larger cost of system recovery later on.

How to remove the PDFPower from my PC?

The best way to get rid of this is to use anti-malware software

Removing such a virus requires the use of specific software. Good anti-malware programs should have high efficiency at scanning and be lightweight – to create no problems with usage also on weak computers. Furthermore, it is better to have on-run protection in your security solution – to prevent the virus even before it launches. Microsoft Defender does not have these functions for different factors. That’s why I’d advise you to use a third-party anti-malware program. GridinSoft Anti-Malware is an ideal option that fits each of the specified qualities.1

Before the malware removal, it is important to boot your Windows into Safe Mode with Networking. Since PDFPower.exe applies numerous detection evasion tricks, it is necessary to halt it before launching the security program.

Booting the PC into Safe Mode with Networking

Press the Start button, then choose Power, and click on Reboot while holding the Shift key on the keyboard.

Boot into Windows Safe Mode

Windows will reboot into recovery mode. In that mode, choose Troubleshoot→ Startup Settings→ Safe Mode with Networking. Press the corresponding button on your keyboard to choose that option.

Windows Safe Mode boot option with command prompt

When your system is in Safe Mode, all third-party applications and most non-crucial system components are not started with the system start. That gives you the ability to clean the system avoiding any problems in the process.

Remove PDFPower.exe with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Unwanted Program as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove PDFPower.exe as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for PDFPower.exe Unwanted Program

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The PDFPower.exe was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The PDFPower.exe has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Trojan Killer for “PDFPower.exe” removal on locked PC

In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.

Trojan Killer - Main View

There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.

Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.

Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:

1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.

Download Trojan Killer

2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.

3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.

Install Trojan Killer to Removable Drive

4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.

Step 2: Update Signature Databases:

5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.

6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.

Click Update Button

Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:

7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.

8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.

9. Insert the USB flash drive.

10. Run tk.exe

11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.

Searching PDFPower.exe Virus

Step 4: Remove Found Threats:

12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.

Searching PDFPower.exe Finished

13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.

14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.

Restart needed

Step 5: Restart Your Computer:

15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.

16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.

Congratulations on effectively removing PDFPower.exe and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is PDFPower.exe, and why is it associated with MediaArena?


It is an executable file that is linked to the unwanted program called MediaArena. MediaArena is categorized as spyware due to its intrusive nature and suspicious functionalities.

How can I identify if Pdfpower is running on my system?


If you notice the presence of Pdfpower.exe in your system’s processes, it might be associated with MediaArena. You can check the running processes through the Task Manager or any other system monitoring tool.

Is Pdfpower.exe harmful to my computer’s security?


Yes, It is a concerning file as it is associated with spyware, specifically MediaArena. Spyware can compromise your system’s security by monitoring your activities without your knowledge.

What makes MediaArena different from regular applications?


MediaArena disguises itself as a legitimate application, but its actual functionality raises doubts. Unlike regular applications, MediaArena exhibits suspicious features commonly found in spyware, such as screen capturing and keylogging.

What are the signs of MediaArena’s activity on my computer?


Some indications of MediaArena’s activity include unexpected browser redirects to goto[.]searchpoweronline[.]com, changes in the default search engine, and potential exposure of search queries to third-party operators.

Can MediaArena infect other devices or removable drives?


Yes, MediaArena has the capability to spread itself to removable drives, which can lead to unintended infections if those drives are connected to other devices.

How can I protect my computer from unwanted programs like MediaArena?


To protect your computer from unwanted programs and spyware, make sure to keep your operating system and security software up to date. Avoid downloading software from untrusted sources and be cautious when clicking on suspicious links or email attachments.

Is there a way to recover any potential data loss caused by MediaArena?


If you suspect that MediaArena has caused data loss, it is advisable to immediately seek the assistance of data recovery specialists who can help recover lost files or data.

Are there any additional measures I can take to enhance my system’s security?


Yes, apart from using antivirus and antimalware software, you can also enable a firewall, regularly backup your important data, and practice safe browsing habits to further enhance your system’s security against potential threats.
PDFPower.exe Malware Removal Guide

Name: PDFPower.exe

Description: PDFPower.exe is associated with an undesired application named MediaArena, demonstrating behavior that closely mimics that of spyware. This application elicits substantial apprehension due to its capability to surreptitiously oversee user actions. It possesses the capacity to log all keystrokes and mouse clicks executed on the system. Additionally, MediaArena has the competence to capture screen images and transmit them to a remote command server. These actions strongly underscore the malicious character of this application.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Trojan

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References

  1. Our review on GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

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About the author

Robert Bailey

I'm Robert Bailey, a passionate Security Engineer with a deep fascination for all things related to malware, reverse engineering, and white hat ethical hacking.

As a white hat hacker, I firmly believe in the power of ethical hacking to bolster security measures. By identifying vulnerabilities and providing solutions, I contribute to the proactive defense of digital infrastructures.

2 Comments

  1. Dave April 26, 2023

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