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Hackers have successfully hidden malware in popular PC cleanup tool

CBS Local — A computer program used to help your PC run faster has reportedly become the latest victim of hackers looking to breach the security of millions of its users.

CCleaner, the computer-optimizing tool made by software company Piriform, was successfully infected by malware, according to security firm Cisco Talos. The malware reportedly tried to connect to unregistered websites in order to remotely download even more harmful programs to users’ computers.

Security experts say the Trojan horse-style attack hackers launched affected over 2 million CCleaner customers who downloaded the product in August.

“By exploiting the trust relationship between software vendors and the users of their software, attackers can benefit from users’ inherent trust in the files and web servers used to distribute updates,” researchers at Talos said.

Piriform’s parent company, Avast, released a statement after the breach was announced saying the infected software had been dealt with.

“Piriform believes that these users are safe now as its investigation indicates it was able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm,” an Avast spokesperson said.

“There is nothing a user could have noticed,” said Talos researcher Craig Williams. The malware expert added that a similar attack was carried out on accounting software in the Ukraine in June. The revelation is sure to be unsettling for the 130 million people who reportedly use the trusted PC cleaning tool.

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