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Hackers compromised CCleaner software for nearly a month

Hackers compromised CCleaner software for nearly a month”

CCleaner, a popular Windows app for system optimization and maintenance, has at some point been hijacked by hackers, potentially tricking millions of people into installing malware on their personal computers.

Mr Yung said the company had spotted some "suspicious activity" on 12 September that led it to discover version 5.33 had been "illegally modified" before it had been made available to the public.

Piriform, the company behind CCleaner, posted a blog today which explains the technical details of the hack. The Talos team said that the CCleaner 5.33 and CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191 tools were infected and believe that around two million users are at risk from the malware, which has the potential to steal data.

"The compromise could cause the transmission of non-sensitive data (computer name, IP address, list of installed software, list of active software, list of network adapters) to a third party computer server in the US", said Piriform in this blog post. On September 15, law enforcement was able to shut down the attackers' command and control servers, and Avast released CCleaner version 5.34, which no longer contained the malware.

Piriform, which develops the CCleaner software created to remove unwanted files from Android phones and Windows PCs, said it had identified "suspicious activity" in two versions of the program which it found had been "illegally modified".

On September 13, Cisco Talos identified an executable in the installer for CCleaner, which was being delivered to endpoints by the legitimate CCleaner download servers.

CCleaner

"We estimate that 2.27 million users had the affected software installed on 32-bit Windows machines", a spokesperson for software security vendor Avast told eWEEK.

"To the best of our knowledge, we were able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm", Yung says.

The malware allowed an infected system to be remotely controlled and collects data from your computer.

CCleaner Cloud users have already received an automatic update that removes the vulnerability, but Piriform advises all other users to update CCleaner to version 5.34 or higher if they have not already done so.

"The investigation is still ongoing", he wrote.

Craig Williams, a researcher at Cisco Talos, said it was a sophisticated attack since it penetrated a trusted supplier.

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