CCleaner gets hit by a nasty malware infection

Popular software CCleaner infected with backdoor

CCleaner claims its software is downloaded over 5 million times a week, with over 2 billion installations worldwide.

The company's security researchers said they noticed that the malware tried to connect computers to unregistered websites in order to remotely download more harmful programs directly into users' computers.

Once in place, the malware would wait five minutes, determine if the user had admin privileges, and then steal information from PCs, such as the computer's name, a list of installed software and Windows updates, running processes, MAC addresses of network adapters alongside additional information.

CCleaner has gotten compromised in a massive security breach which could affect upwards of 2.27 million users of the popular clean-up software.

According to Piriform's blog post, its programs released in August were compromised and users of CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 are advised to download new versions.

"To the best of our knowledge, we were able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm", said Mr Yung. Hackers infected trusted software and people downloaded it without realizing it contained malware. The threat has now been resolved in the sense that the rogue server is down, other potential servers are out of the control of the attacker.

Users of CCleaner 5.33 are urged to immediately update to the latest CCleaner 5.34 version.

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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.

Legitimately signed but backdoored versions of the popular CCleaner utility were available for download from the developer's Web site and servers for almost a month, Cisco Talos researchers have discovered. Cisco Talos researchers speculate that attackers could have compromised a developer account that provided access or possibly were able to directly exploit a system within the CCleaner build environment.

Because the malware remains present, even after users update the CCleaner software, affected users should remove and reinstall everything on the machine and restore files and data from a backup made before 15 August. Discovered by researchers at Cisco's Talos division, hackers are thought to have run code from a remote IP address using a backdoor.

According to Piriform, its new parent company Avast had found the affected versions of the software had been compromised on 12 September.

Far from being a fake CCleaner app, the version spotted by Cisco was found to be legitimate and signed with a valid digital certificate.

The attackers were using version 5.33 of CCleaner to spread a multi-stage malware payload.

Yung said Piriform is taking detailed steps internally so that this doesn't happen again.

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