Server hack on security firm Avast attached malware to popular CCleaner app

Avast, Matey! 

We hate to start your week with some bad news, but here’s a quick heads up on yet another threat to your computer’s data. And, it’s kind of an ironic one as well. If you’re a Windows user and have the CCleaner app, make sure you update it right quick as a recent version included a bunch of malware. The ironic part? CCleaner is owned by well-known cybersecurity company Avast.

Better known as “crap cleaner,” CCleaner is designed to scrub web cookies and other digital flotsam from Windows computers, but security researchers at Cisco Talos said they discovered that download servers used by Avast were hacked to distribute malware inside CCleaner. However, Avast is now saying that the 2.27 million users hit by the malware aren’t at risk because an automatic update already pushed out to CCleaner killed the virus.

But just to be safe, we strongly suggest you check your version and update the app if need be.

Avast Matey! The Sequel

More cyber shenanigans now, this time from the fine folks at torrent site Pirate Bay, who freely admit they are using user’s PCs to try to raise some cash by mining cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

What’s the deal? The Pirate Bay told the TorrentFreak site that they are just “borrowing” a bit of users’ PC horsepower to raise some cash while playing their never-ending game of whack-a-mole with the myriad agencies, companies and countries that are constantly try to shut it down. They say it’s just a test, but that’s not sitting well with many people who use the site to may be illegally downloading the latest movie ahead of its release date, which is kind of ironic.

Looks like disabling javascript or running an ad blocker is enough to keep The Pirate Bay from using your browser as part of their pirate fleet of browser mining ships, but hit the link for more details on how to protect yourself just in case.

Slow sales and big ideas

In the age of Amazon, eBay, and online retail in general, how do you get people to buy your stuff, especially if you’re trying to break into an already saturated market like headphones?

That’s what we talked to Noel Lee about. He heads up a little company called Monster Cable, and they’re in a pitched battle with Beats, Apple, and everyone else making a set of cans these day. Now that headphones have left the house, the market has exploded, and Monster has been trying to carve out a share for itself with celeb-oriented offerings aimed at gamers, athletes, audiophiles and the fashion conscious.

How’s it going? Not so well, so Lee talked with DT Editor in Chief Jeremy Kaplan about their more unconventional plans to get their headphones on people’s heads. Check out the whole conversation to see what a guy who has always thought outside the box has planned.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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