Update your CCleaner App Right Away to Avoid Malware Downloads

Avast-owned CCleaner App is the latest target of hackers who used the app to spread malicious malware and ransomware into millions of PCs worldwide. If you’re a CCleaner user, update your software immediately and make sure your PC is not affected by malware. According to researchers and Avast’s own figures, 2.27 million people are thought to be affected with the infected app. That being said, the company has asked users not to panic and to simply update their programs to avoid any further complications.

CCleaner app has long been a favorite maintenance and file clean-up software run by the world’s largest anti-virus company, Avast. Dubbed as, ‘crap cleaner,’ CCleaner cleans your system from unwanted files and web cookies. We would, however, advise that users make use of Windows’ default file cleaning system to remove unwanted files. Similarly, browsers these days have strong security options and are quite efficient when it comes to cleaning cookies and other online garbage. The CCleaner program has 2 billion downloads to date which explains the magnitude of this malware attack. Luckily, researchers were able to identify the threat after CCleaner caused Talos systems to flag malicious activity on September 13th.

On further investigation, researchers found the CCleaner server hosting the backdoor app from August 15th which means the app was infected for weeks before the malware began spreading. Encrypted information about infected systems was being sent back to the hackers’ server; however, there has been no report of the data being misused as of now. Experts fear these attacks prevent users to trust security devices (malware problems on anti-viruses are not a new occurrence) and are designed to exploit the trust relationship between software vendors and users.

According to the company’s Vice President, Paul Yung, the malware issue has been resolved and the server causing the problem was put down. Users of the 1.07.3191 have been issued an automatic update. So if you see your software requesting for an update, get it done immediately. Yung advises people not to panic saying, ‘To the best of our knowledge, the second-stage payload never activated….It was prep for something bigger, but it was stopped before the attacker got the chance.’

Avast, however, recommends users not to panic because the Avast security tool used to scan machines indicated that the attackers hadn’t yet launched a serious attack on victims. That being said, the threat is not minor. 2.27 million users were at risk and go on to show the capacity of hackers to use any method possible to gain sensitive information of organizations and private users. It was only out of sheer luck that this time the malware did not cause a widespread ransomware problem as the NotPetya incident. Researchers have not yet been able to find out those responsible for the attack and Avast would rather not waste time speculating an incident. For now, the focus is on getting infected users to update their software. If you haven’t received an automatic update, you can head over to the Piriform website and download the latest software.

Farah tries to keep up with the fast-paced tech world by writing about it. She covers latest tech news and writes informative pieces to help her readers make informed decisions about their tech preferences.