JFC, Avast and Piriform.

Unbelievable. First Equifax, a company to help protect your credit through monitoring, is hacked and has opened a Pandora’s Box of unsecured data practices throughout their company. Now Avast, who owns Piriform, finds that malware was added to the August updated release of CCleaner. CCleaner is a VERY popular computer junk file removal tool. Like, billions of downloads popular. Per Piriform, 2 billion downloads were promoted as of November 2016.

Here’s a great detailed breakdown of what happened, what is affected, etc.

If you use currently use CCleaner version 5.33.6162 or CCleaner Cloud version 1.07.3191, on 32-bit Windows systems, be sure to update to the latest version. Updating to the latest version will remove the found malware according to Piriform. In fact, I would update regardless…just note the free version may require a manual update.

How do I figure out what versions I have?

  1. Open up CCleaner. The version should show at the top of the window.
  2. Windows 8.1 – Look under PC Devices -> PC Info. This will show you whether you use 64-bit or 32-bit Windows.
  3. Windows 10 – Click the Start Menu and then the Settings button (above the restart button). Select the System tile and click the last section listed “About.”

You just can’t trust anyone these days to be as careful as they should.

It’s been my experience that the longer software is around, the more vulnerable it becomes to hackers. This could be because of multiple acquisitions, more historical data to have to lock down, software developers becoming complacent, etc.

It’s always good practice to:

  • Constantly review what software you use on your computer.
  • Frequently check to see if there is something better. Google is your friend and company/brand loyalty isn’t as important as stable, secure software.
  • I would even recommend holding off on the latest updates (unless it’s an emergency update like this one) as that seems to be where the most issues pop up.

Hard to be loyal to a company or brand when they pull stunts like this. While some situations are kind of understandable, the fact that this was THEIR supposedly secure software someone managed to attach the malware to (presumably by hacking into their files), is deeply concerning. I will be looking for a new junk file removal tool and antivirus after this.

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