Image from VentureBeat.com/Paul Sawers

Just last Monday, Piriform Ltd., a British company, announced that their software, CCleaner, was recently breached by hackers. CCleaner is a free software that optimizes your computer’s performance. WIth its functions, it is given high levels of authorization by the computer to do its tasks making the breach very dangerous as hackers could potentially take control of the devices of millions of users. Both mobile and desktop users were compromised since CCleaner is available in both platforms.

Which versions were affected?

According to Piriform, CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191, both released last August, were compromised. CCleaner v5.33.6162 was downloaded by over 2.3 million users and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 was downloaded by over 5,000 users.  All users using these versions should delete the current version and download the new version released by Piriform as CCleaner does not automatically update. The new updates were released September 12 and September 15 respectively.

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What does the malicious software do?

It is believed that the malicious software makes the user’s device open up links that download more malicious programs to be installed in the computer. Fortunately, the breach was discovered during the stage where the hackers were still stealing information from their victims’ devices and were not yet in the phase of malicious installation. After the breach was detected, Piriform, along with law enforcement, dealt with the problem directly and cut the connection between CCleaner and the server where the users’ information are being sent to. To further mitigate the incident, Piriform released new updated versions of the software.

What should I do if I’m infected?

As mentioned above, it is highly advised that you uninstall your CCleaner directly and download the updated versions that are not compromised. Afterwhich, you should run an anti-virus scan to ensure that no malicious program was installed on your computer or mobile device. However, it is best to still best to stay alert and proactive for any suspicious behavior of your device. In any case, consult a technician right away to make sure you’re device is free from malicious programs.

Did you know that breach can happen to online accounts too and not just programs and softwares? Scan your email with LoginAlarm to know if your online accounts are breached. You can get your free scan at www.loginalarm.com.

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