CCleaner maker apologises after hackers hid malware in its software

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The compromised version of CCleaner and CCleaner Cloud may have been downloaded by as many as 2.27 million users, or about three percent of its users with 32-bit Windows PCs, according to Piriform.

However, Piriform said it had taken action to ensure users of the affected versions of CCleaner were safe by removing them from download sites.

In the Department of police of National police of Ukraine warns about infected by malicious software one of the updates of the popular program "CCleaner" created to assist users in the implementation of planned maintenance of their systems.

A popular PC-cleaning software used by over 130 million people put users at risk after hackers were able to insert malware into legitimate downloads. Piriform recommends users of CCleaner version 5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud version 1.07.3191 to download new versions of the software. The malware expert added that a similar attack was carried out on accounting software in the Ukraine in June.

The company also added that the rogue server is down and other potential servers are out of the control of the attacker.

The maliciously modified version of the tool was available for download until September 12.

The versions that were affected are CCleaner v5.33.6162 or CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 for 32-bit Windows PCs.

Avast's CTO Ondrej Vlcek declined to speculate on the hackers' intentions for the data being harvest by the malware - saying he could not comment on account of an law enforcement investigation now underway. It's not clear exactly how many CCleaner uses were affected by the breach, but Talos reports that around 5 million people download it each week.

Love CCleaner? Have it on your computer? CCleaner users have received a notification to update to a new version, but Monday's warning is the first time they've been told why.

The compromised version was also signed with a legitimate digital certificate, according to Talos researchers, meaning it wouldn't have been detected by antivirus. The security firm Cisco Talos informed Avast of its findings on September 13, which then proceeded to release an updated version of its utility.

Piriform, which is owned by Avast, claimed it has managed to remove the compromised versions of CCleaner "before it was able to do any harm".

Users who have downloaded the software recently are urged to uninstall and reinstall it - as it won't update by itself. Piriform acknowledged the incident in a blog post and thanked Avast for its help in investigating the cause, which has yet to be determined.

Researchers at Talos, Cisco's threat intelligence team, said they discovered the malware after observing that data from CCleaner was being sent to an unknown IP address.

CCleaner is the software to clean up the system and optimize its performance.

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