Windows users, here’s a new reason to be worried about your personal information: Earlier this week Avast’s Piriform, the makers of the computer-optimization software CCleaner, announced that 1,646,536 computers computers with its free optimizing software were infected with malware.
Users with computers running 32-bit Windows 10 are most likely to be affected, but if that applies to you, don’t panic just yet. While the malware potentially could have gathered information like your IP address, computer name, a list of software on your computer and a list of network adapters, Piriform believes that they were able to disarm invaders prior to any harm being done. It’s also believed that credit card numbers and social security numbers were safe from the hack. Piriform also believes that Android users that have the software on their phones weren’t affected.
“Working with US law enforcement, we caused this server to be shut down on the 15th of September before any known harm was done. It would have been an impediment to the law enforcement agency’s investigation to have gone public with this before the server was disabled and we completed our initial assessment,” the company explained in a statement on their website.
If you are concerned that you are using corrupted software, you should check the version of the software that you are using. Piriform recommends those with CCleaner v5.33.6162 or CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 for 32-bit Windows PCs, delete their current version and download the uninfected version from its website immediately.
You can check which version of CCleaner you currently have installed on your computer by taking the following steps:
- Right click on the CCleaner icon on your Windows 10 desktop.
- Click “Properties.”
- In the window that pops up, click on the details tab and look at the number next to “File version.”
- If the version number is “5.33.6162” or “1.07.3191,” you are using a corrupted software and should delete and re-install a clean version as soon as possible.
One important note: If you’ve updated your software since September 12 or use the Cloud version, you should be safe. Regardless, if you’ve used the software at all, it’s not a bad idea to run a check on your system once you are sure that you have a clean version to ensure that no invaders were left behind. After all, when it comes to information privacy, you can never be too safe!