Attention: Check Google Chrome for the Settings Protector extension - gHacks Tech News

Attention: Check Google Chrome for the Settings Protector extension

Reports began to appear yesterday on Google Chrome's official support forum about a new extension that installed itself automatically in the browser. Chrome users noticed that the Settings Protector extension appeared on the extensions page of the browser without their doing. According to reports, the extension installed itself automatically in the browser. The only information displayed on the extensions page is the name of the extension, Settings Protector, and its version, 1.0.

No information have been provided about Chrome versions, new software installations, updates, or anything else that may be related to the automatic installation of the extension. Right now, it is not clear what triggers the installation of Settings Protector in the browser. It sounds like an extension that would ship with a security program, but it can as well be installed through exploits of the browser or the operating system, malware that managed to compromise the system, or as part of an adware offer of regular applications.

settings protector

Here is how you can check whether Settings Protector is installed on your system. Open the Chrome web browser and click on the settings icon at the top right. Select Tools > Extensions from the context menu and look for Settings Protector 1.0 there. If you find it there, disable it or click on the trashcan icon to delete it from the browser.

I highly suggest to run a scan with Malwarebytes AntiMalware and Dr.Web CureIt to make sure it was not dropped by malware still running on the system.

To help sort this out, it would be helpful if you could report your Chrome version, channel you are on and whether Settings Protector is listed under extensions or not. If it is listed, add security programs and recent installations/updates on your system. I checked Chrome Canary 24 and it was not installed on it. (via Caschy)

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  1. ilev said on October 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Chrome Version 23.0.1271.26 beta-m. No Settings Protector.

    1. Deana said on October 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Chrome Version 22.0.1229.94 m I shut down my computer last night and when I rebooted I got notification that this program had installed. The computer is new (less than a month old) I have Avast Internet Security installed. I did have an alert yesterday from Avast that it blocked a Trojan/Malware from a site I tried to visit (sorry I don’t remember the name of the site I was looking for movie soundclips) I was able to delete the add on with no problems and following you advice about running MalwareBytes and Dr.Web Cureit

  2. yakov bee said on October 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    i took some time to track down the file that this extension runs, its in the directory “C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\pgafcinpmmpklohkojmllohdhomoefph\1.0_0\”
    It runs a file spext.dll which the description is –
    Product: Application Manager
    Company: PerformerSoft LLC
    Description: Protector

    a scan from kaspersky av didn’t determine it as a virus, so i googled PerformerSoft LLC the company and contacted them, the man on the line had no idea what i was talking about so something sounds very suspicious here…

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Interesting, thanks for the information. Which Chrome version are you running? Also, what security software, and did you install a program recently?

  3. B. Moore said on October 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    NO Settings Protector with Chrome Version 24.0.1290.1 dev-m

  4. yakov bee said on October 13, 2012 at 12:01 am

    i’m using google chrome Version 22.0.1229.94 m, running on windows 7 64bit protected with kaspersky internet security . interesting cause i have not installed any programs lately besides visual studio 2010 which i downloaded straight from the micorsoft website

  5. Cesar Serrano said on October 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Hi everyone,
    I got this message about this extension between yerterday night and today in the morning. My version is 22.0.1229.94 m, Windows 7 (32 bits) with McAfee VirusScan Enterprise + AntiSpyware Enterprise 8.8 licensed.

  6. Baxter Tocher said on October 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    No Settings Protector here. I’m running Version 22.0.1229.94 m on Windows 7 64-bit, protected by Microsoft Security Essentials.

  7. Rebecca said on October 13, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I have no such extension in my browser. I’m using Windows 7 Home Premium (32 bit) with Version 24.0.1290.1 dev-m. Protected with Avira Premium 2013 Beta.

  8. Barry said on October 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

    chrome 22.0.1229.94 m + windows 7

    So do we know what it actually does?


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Not really unfortunately.

  9. Juggernaut93 said on October 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Version 22.0.1229.94 m –> Settings Protector installed!!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Do you have the Browser Protector program installed on your computer?

  10. bob said on October 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    ver 22.0.1229.94m

    nothing here.

  11. Cesar Serrano said on October 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Just run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Couple of threads found but nothing important and none of them the Chrome extension. I have just disabled it by clicking on the check box for that purpose in Crhome Settings.

  12. Emma said on October 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I have it, on Windows Vista Home Premium (32 bit) with Chrome version 22.0.1229.94 m, running AVG & Spybot. Just popped up this morning when I started Chrome, so I deleted it from the extensions after googling. Sounds very suspicious indeed…

  13. Francois Beaufort said on October 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

    When I read this article, I thought “woooo’.
    Then I updated “Extensions Update Notifier” Chrome Extension to show a warning for each extension that user did not install and to give him the ability to disable it.
    It should work for “Settings Protector” I believe.

    You can learn more about it at and download it from the Chrome Web Store at

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 16, 2012 at 11:30 am
  14. Anonymous said on October 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Just got it, disabled and installed.

    I was sort of confused when suddenly an extension was installed.
    The source looks no good to me, I believe it is a tracker.

  15. Seb said on November 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Just got it installed, together with a windows update. I´ve got Windows 7 ultimate with Gdata internetsecurity – which also did not identify it as malware.
    Reading these comments I also deinstalled.

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