CCleaner Hack Adds Malware Instead of Removing It

first_img For all of the trouble they cause us, and we mean serious unforgivable trouble like ruining elections and shutting down online video game services, there’s a certain prankster spirit to most computer hackers some can’t help but admire. Sometimes you just have to sit back and say, “I may have been hacked, but at least I was hacked in a clever and ironic way.” Hacking a service designed for removing malware and making it spread malware instead is, if nothing else, pretty ironic. And that’s just what happened with CCleaner.Trustworthiness is everything when it comes to antivirus software. Malware developers are changing their attacks all the time so you have to hope that the tools you’re using to fight them are keeping up. Millions of users trust the free CCleaner by Avast/Piriform, a big name in the space, to be that tool.Unfortunately, Avast couldn’t keep up this time. Cybersecurity threat analysis group Cisco Talos reported that inside recent versions of CCleaner software (CCleaner 5.33 and CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191) was malware that could steal users’ data for nefarious purposes. They estimate over 2 million users might be at risk.So how does security software go from fighting malware to spreading it? Cisco Talos hypothesizes that hackers snuck their way onto a “rogue” Avast server and covertly added the malware while the software was still be developed. Pretty sneaky, sis. But at least that means CCleaner users who didn’t download this compromised software should have nothing to fear.Avast is also doing everything it can to remedy the situation. Most users who downloaded the potentially harmful versions of CCleaner haven’t reported any actual problems. But just to be safe Avatar has already kicked the hackers from the server and released updated, secure versions of CCleaner. So if you haven’t already, go download CCleaner 5.34 to make sure you’re safe.This is also just a great reminder to practice safe computer security habits in general. Our sister site PCMag covers all sorts of great antivirus software for any budget. Also be sure to regularly scan and back up your computer to prepare for the worst. In a cybersecurity world where even your official antivirus can give you a virus, you can never be too safe.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Google Adds an ASCII Mode to Its VirusTotal Malware Scanning ServiceU.S. Newspapers Stymied By Cyber Attack Stay on targetlast_img