Recent versions of utility program CCleaner shipped with a hidden backdoor

Robyn Valdez
September 20, 2017

CCleaner, the computer-optimizing tool made by software company Piriform, was successfully infected by malware, according to security firm Cisco Talos.

CCleaner, developed by Piriform, is free software created to clean-up a user's computer and remove unwanted files.

Cisco Talos, who first spotted CCleaner's vulnerability before informing Piriform, said that the compromised software may have already affected millions of users, and the extent of the damage done by the attack is still unclear.

Note to criminals: I was not using version 5.33.6162.

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According to an alert from Cisco Talos, once the malware was installed, attackers could potentially gain access to the user's computer and other connected systems to steal sensitive personal data and/or credentials that could be used for online banking or other online activities.

The affected software included version 5.33.6162 of CCleaner, and version 1.07.3191 CCleaner Cloud for 32-bit Windows, which were released on 15 August and 25 August, respectively.

The August version of CCleaner was discovered containing the issue of vulnerability. As a result, computers sent IP addresses and a list of installed applications from the users' computers to a server located in the US.

Avast believes that 2.27 million users had downloaded the infected software on their 32-bit Windows machines.

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"To the best of our knowledge, we were able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm", said Mr Yung.

"The compromise could cause the transmission of non-sensitive data...to a 3rd party computer server in the U.S.", the company said. If you're still anxious, or want to ensure you've got the most recent version of CCleaner, you can reach their download page here and do it yourself.

Yung declined to speculate on how the code appeared in CCleaner or where the attack originated from.

To assure CCleaner users that they won't be compromised like this again, Avast also started moving the Piriform build environment to the Avast infrastructure and will move the Piriform staff to the Avast internal IT System.

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Supply chain attacks like this are often a very effective way to distribute malware into organizations, because attackers are relying on the trusted relationship between a manufacturer or supplier and their customer, Cisco Talos wrote in their report.

Other reports by Info About Network

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