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CCleaner Software Gets Hacked

Date Monday, 18 September 2017 , By: Marc Whittingham , In: Technical

CCleaner Software Gets Hacked

Have you downloaded or updated CCleaner in the last month? If so, make sure that you read this blog post to find out more about the latest piece of software to get hacked.

CCleaner has put its users at risk by releasing a version of its software with Trojan and Malware included.

It has been revealed that antivirus firm Avast accidentally released a compromised version of CCleaner to its users.

What is CCleaner?

CCleaner is a popular free software for improving your computer’s performance by cleaning up unused files on your computer, like downloaded files, install files and recycle bin files. Its popularity has seen its growth rate reach 5 million new users per week.

CCleaner is made by Piriform, which is owned by Avast Antivirus, a leading computer security company.

What's happened to CCleaner?

Hackers managed to infect a version of CCleaner that was released in August. This version of CCleaner was a legitimate release and certified by the developers for distribution. Users would have downloaded the software or updated their version of CCleaner to have received the corrupted version, putting their computers at risk.

Piriform has announced that the affected programs include:

  • CCleaner v5.33.6162
  • CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191

It has been confirmed that 2.27 million users had downloaded the compromised version of CCleaner and approximately 5,000 users installed CCleaner Cloud.

This form of attack is a very effective way to infect computers because it preys on the trust that a user has with a supplier. CCleaner is extremely popular because it's a free tool and has been a reliable piece of software in the past.

How did this happen?

Piriform has said that they 'don't want to speculate how the unauthorised code appeared in the CCleaner software' at this stage.

But, for the software to have been affected by the malware, the development environment had to have been compromised and the malware inserted before release.

Fortunately, Cisco Talos detected the issue on 13th September and notified Avast of the security risk. Avast quickly responded by removing the affected version from distribution. They have since uploaded a new version for users to download and update CCleaner, which should remedy the situation and remove the malware.

While the issue has been resolved quickly, this is particularly damaging to Avast who sell security products and who have had their own security breached.

What should you do now?

Avast has advised users to download new versions of the software, which should resolve the issue.

However, if you have any further questions, or concerns, please contact our IT Support team.

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Marc Whittingham

By: Marc Whittingham

Marc joined Blue Frontier in 2007 and was welcomed to the board of directors in 2016. With industry experience dating back to 2003, he heads up the technical support team with a strong focus on service. As our lead networking and virtualisation engineer, Marc provides the invaluable link between clients and technicians. His incredible versatility is evidenced by his further roles as: Information Security Manager, Data Protection Officer and Quality Assurance Manager.