Popular PC Optimisation Software CC Cleaner compromised by malicious hackers

What is CC Cleaner?

CCleaner is a Windows PC software optimization tool designed to remove unwanted software and browser data. It’s available to you the end user via both free and paid versions. Both versions claim to speed up and protect the privacy of your computer.

How did the compromise occur?

The maker of CC Cleaner Piriform says it first detected a problem on September 12. Piriform noticed an unknown IP address receiving data from software found in recent versions of CC Cleaner. Upon further investigation, it was determined these versions were modified illicitly by hackers before their release to users.

How far has the compromise spread?

Avast, Piriform’s parent company, says it believes the affected software was installed on approximately 2.27 million machines worldwide.

“We believe that these users are safe now as our investigation indicates we were able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm,” the company said in a press statement. “There is no indication or evidence that any additional ‘malware’ has been delivered through the backdoor.”

Who is at risk from Malware?

Those using the 32-bit Windows version of CCleaner are at risk. Unfortunately, the free version of the tool doesn’t appear to include automatic updates, so it stands to reason that anyone running the free version is significantly more at risk. All users running the free version are recommended to manually download the latest update immediately.  Regardless, if you’re running any version of CCleaner, you’ll want to ensure your computer has downloaded the latest update.