CCleaner

Last updated

CCleaner
CCleaner logo 2013.png
CCleaner Software Screenshot.jpg
CCleaner 5.6 running on Microsoft Windows 7
Developer(s) Piriform
Initial release23 September 2003;17 years ago (2003-09-23)
Stable release(s) [±]
Windows5.80.8743 / 25 May 2021;9 days ago (2021-05-25) [1]
macOS1.18.30 / 5 October 2020;7 months ago (2020-10-05) [2]
Android5.6.2 / 31 May 2021;3 days ago (2021-05-31) [3]
Written in C++
Operating system Windows 7 and later, [4]
OS X Mountain Lion and later, [4]
Android Lollipop and later
Platform IA-32 and x64
Available in58 languages
List of languages
Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri (Latin), Belarusian, Bosnian, Brazilian Portuguese (Portugues do Brasil), Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan (Catala), Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Corsican, Croatian (Hrvatski), Czech (Ceský), Danish, Dutch (Nederlands), English, Estonian (Eesti keel), Farsi, Finnish (Suomi), French (Français), Galician, Georgian, German (Deutsch), Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian (Magyar), Indonesian, Italian (Italiano), Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian (Lietuviu), Macedonian, Malaysian, Marathi, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish (Polski), Portuguese (Portugues), Romanian (Romana), Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic), Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Espanol), Swedish (Svenska), Tatar, Thai, Turkish (Türkçe), Turkmen, Ukrainian, Vietnamese. [5]
Type Utility software
License Freemium for home use; commercial for use in organisations and institutions [6]
Website www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner

CCleaner ( /ˈsklnər/ , originally Crap Cleaner), [7] developed by Piriform (a company acquired by Avast in 2017), is a utility used to clean potentially unwanted files and invalid Windows Registry entries from a computer. It is one of the longest-established system cleaners, first launched in 2004. [8] It was originally developed for Microsoft Windows only, [9] but in 2012, a macOS version was released. An Android version was released in 2014.

Contents

CCleaner has been reviewed by Chip.de, [10] TechRadar, [11] PC Magazine , [12] and TechRepublic. [13]

Features

CCleaner can delete potentially unwanted files left by certain programs, including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Microsoft Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, McAfee, Adobe Flash Player, Sun Java, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and GIMP [14] along with browsing history, cookies, recycle bin, memory dumps, file fragments, log files, system caches, application data, autocomplete form history, and various other data. [15] The program includes a registry cleaner to locate and correct problems in the Windows registry, such as missing references to shared DLLs, unused registration entries for file extensions, and missing references to application paths. [14] CCleaner 2.27 and later can wipe the MFT free space of a drive, or the entire drive.

CCleaner can uninstall programs or modify the list of programs that execute on startup. [16] Since version 2.19, CCleaner can delete Windows System Restore points. [17] [18]

History

CCleaner was first launched in 2004 for Microsoft Windows. [8] It remained a Windows-only utility until 2012. On 2 June 2011, Piriform announced a public beta test program for CCleaner for Mac. [19] The Mac version graduated to the test stage on 30 January 2012. [20]

A commercial Network Edition was also introduced. Piriform released CCleaner for Android in 2014. [21]

Critical reception

CNET editors gave the application a rating of 5/5 stars, calling it a 'must-have tool'. It was awarded Editor's Choice Award in April 2009 by CNET. [22] In 2016 Piriform announced 2 billion CCleaner downloads worldwide. [23] In January 2014 it had been the most popular software on FileHippo for more than a year, and had a 5-star editor's rating on download.zone and Softpedia. [24] Softmany select as featured App and give 5 star to it is an outstanding utility to free up hard disk space from unnecessary data. [25] CCleaner has been reviewed by Chip.de , [10] TechRadar , [26] PC Magazine [27] and TechRepublic . [13]

Data collection

Upon its release, the Active Monitoring component of CCleaner 5.45 incorporated a data collection module that collected information from computers without the consent of their owners. Piriform claims that it did not collect personally identifiable information. After criticism later versions allowed data collection to be controlled separately by the user, although data collection is still on by default. [28] [29] [30] [31]

Bundled software

In December 2018, it was reported that users installing CCleaner would also have Avast Antivirus installed without their permission, with TechSpot claiming this arguably made CCleaner no better than the malware it was supposed to defend against. Piriform denied this. [32]

In July 2020, Microsoft Windows Defender began flagging the free version of CCleaner as a "potentially unwanted application", stating that "while the bundled applications themselves are legitimate, bundling of software, especially products from other providers, can result in unexpected software activity that can negatively impact user experiences." [33]

Malware infection

After Piriform was acquired by Avast, in September 2017, CCleaner 5.33 was compromised by the incorporation into the distributed program of the Floxif trojan horse that could install a backdoor, enabling remote access to 2.27 million [34] infected machines. [35] [36] Forty of the infected machines received a second-stage payload that appears to have targeted technology companies Samsung, Sony, Asus, Intel, VMWare, O2, Singtel, Gauselmann, Dyn, Chunghwa and Fujitsu. [37] [38] On 13 September, Piriform released CCleaner 5.34 and CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191, without the malicious code. [39]

On 21 October 2019, Avast disclosed a second security breach during which attackers tried again to insert malware inside CCleaner releases. That attempt was unsuccessful. [40]

Related Research Articles

Malware A portmanteau for malicious software

Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. A wide variety of malware types exist, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rogue software, wiper and scareware.

Antivirus software Computer software to defend against malicious computer viruses

Antivirus software, or anti-virus software, also known as anti-malware, is a computer program used to prevent, detect, and remove malware.

Clam AntiVirus

Clam AntiVirus (ClamAV) is a free software, cross-platform and open-source antivirus software toolkit able to detect many types of malicious software, including viruses. One of its main uses is on mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner. The application was developed for Unix and has third party versions available for AIX, BSD, HP-UX, Linux, macOS, OpenVMS, OSF (Tru64) and Solaris. As of version 0.97.5, ClamAV builds and runs on Microsoft Windows. Both ClamAV and its updates are made available free of charge.

AVG AntiVirus

AVG AntiVirus is a line of antivirus software developed by AVG Technologies, a subsidiary of Avast. It is available for Windows, macOS and Android.

Download.com is an Internet download directory website launched in 1996 as a part of CNET. Originally, the domain was download.com, which became download.com.com for a while, and is now download.cnet.com. The domain download.com attracted at least 113 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.

Avast Czech security software company

Avast Software s.r.o. is a Czech multinational cybersecurity software company headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic that researches and develops computer security software, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Avast has more than 435 million monthly active users and the second largest market share among anti-malware application vendors worldwide as of April 2020. The company has approximately 1,700 employees across its 25 offices worldwide.

Microsoft Defender

Microsoft Defender Antivirus is an anti-malware component of Microsoft Windows. It was first released as a downloadable free anti-spyware program for Windows XP, and was later shipped with Windows Vista and Windows 7. It has evolved into a full antivirus program, replacing Microsoft Security Essentials, as part of Windows 8 and later versions.

A registry cleaner is a class of third-party utility software designed for the Microsoft Windows operating system, whose purpose is to remove redundant items from the Windows Registry.

WinFixer Rogue security software

WinFixer was a family of scareware rogue security programs developed by Winsoftware which claimed to repair computer system problems on Microsoft Windows computers if a user purchased the full version of the software. The software was mainly installed without the user's consent. McAfee claimed that "the primary function of the free version appears to be to alarm the user into paying for registration, at least partially based on false or erroneous detections." The program prompted the user to purchase a paid copy of the program.

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Piriform Ltd is a British software company based in London, owned since 2017 by Avast. The company develops cleaning and optimisation tools for Microsoft Windows, macOS and Android operating systems, including CCleaner, Defraggler, Recuva and Speccy. On 22 September 2015, Piriform launched CCleaner Cloud, to maintain computers remotely.

AVG Technologies

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Microsoft Security Essentials Free antivirus product produced by Microsoft for the Windows operating system

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References

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  2. "CCleaner for Mac v1.18.30". piriform.com. Piriform. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  3. "CCleaner: Cache Cleaner, Phone Booster, Optimizer". Google Play Store.
  4. 1 2 "What operating systems does CCleaner support?". CCleaner - FAQ. Piriform. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  5. "Changing the language CCleaner uses". CCleaner Documentation. Piriform Ltd. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  6. "Why do I see a message that says 'CCleaner Free is for home use only' or 'CCleaner Free is not free for commercial use?'". Piriform. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  7. "CCleaner". 6 June 2004. Archived from the original on 6 June 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  8. 1 2 Nakodari. "10 Lessons Software Developers Should Learn From CCleaner's Success". Addictive Tips. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  9. "CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download". Ccleaner.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
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  13. 1 2 "Five Tips For Using CCleaner To Degunk Your System". techrepublic.com. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  14. 1 2 "CCleaner - Features". Official web site. Piriform. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  15. "Tuning Windows: Less Bull, More Speed". 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
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  25. "CCleaner outstanding utility" free up hard disk space
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  33. "Windows Defender is flagging CCleaner as a Potentially Unwanted Application". TechSpot. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
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  35. "CCleanup: A Vast Number of Machines at Risk". blog.talosintelligence.com. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  36. "Hackers compromised free CCleaner software, Avast's Piriform says". 18 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017 via Reuters.
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  38. "Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace" (PDF). CIA. 24 July 2018.
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