Consumers who downloaded the CCleaner security program thought that they were protecting their devices from malware, but security researchers at Cisco Talos say the app directly delivered malware to millions of users. The company stated that they released the uncompromised CCleaner version on September 12th and they again unveiled the CCleaner Cloud clean version on September 15th, 2017.
The Talos team claims that its likely an external attacker was able to compromise CCleaner's build environment or that an insider at Piriform was responsible. It also only affects Windows users who have the 32-bit version of CCleaner.
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A spokeswoman said that 2.27 million users had downloaded the August version of CCleaner.
Avast encourages anyone using CCleaner to upgrade to version 5.34 or higher.
Data transmitted to the attacker's server included the computer's name, IP address, a list of installed software, a list of active software, and a list of network adapters. Yung said, "Based on further analysis, we found that the 5.33.6162 version of CCleaner and the 1.07.3191 version of CCleaner Cloud was illegally modified before it was released to the public, and we started an investigation process". Users of the infected version of CCleaner Cloud received an automated update and Piriform believes that in the case of the cloud version, it was "able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm". The payload contained a Domain Generation Algorithm and Command and Control functionality that could be used to send encrypted information about the computer back to a server controlled by the hackers.
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He said the company quickly fixed the software once the malware had been spotted and that it automatically updated users to protect them from hackers.
The malware allowed an infected system to be remotely controlled and collects data from your computer. Even if you are not sure you downloaded the software or updated it in given time frame, you should update it to the latest version to avoid any issue.
"There is nothing a user could have noticed", said Talos researcher Craig Williams.
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