Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Sep 2017 09:58 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption

Talos recently observed a case where the download servers used by software vendor to distribute a legitimate software package were leveraged to deliver malware to unsuspecting victims. For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner. CCleaner boasted over 2 billion total downloads by November of 2016 with a growth rate of 5 million additional users per week. Given the potential damage that could be caused by a network of infected computers even a tiny fraction of this size we decided to move quickly. On September 13, 2017 Cisco Talos immediately notified Avast of our findings so that they could initiate appropriate response activities. The following sections will discuss the specific details regarding this attack.

Don't use registry cleaners. They serve no purpose.

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You are right. Registry cleaners do have its place as a really final last ditch effort to get really broken systems working again. In those situations it is worth to try it because the next best option would be a clean-wipe, which is what you SHOULD do in a business situation and which is what you will probably need to do in any other situation as well. Even if the registry cleaner fixes your 1 problem it might cause another one that you will not notice untill much later.

If you check the "bugfix history" of the regcleaner component of CCleaner you will see some major bugs have happened over time. This means that for most users of this component CCleaner will have caused more problems than it solved

The disk cleaning components of CCleaner are very good, but will mostly just remove caches that will slow down the programs you just cleaned up. This was useful a decade or 2 ago when diskspace was a limiting factor but now it is rather useless as well

CCleaner is probably the best program of it's sort. It is small, free, often updated, has a portable version, looks nice, etc.....but except for niche cases it is no longer needed

In Summary
Regcleaners will not make your system work better/faster, but they might fix your "unsolvable" problem when you are in a jam. They should not be used generally!
Diskcleaners make you feel better, but probably slow your programs down

For startup items, just press CTRL+Shift+ESC (taskmanager), find the Startup tab and disable everything you want. It even has a nice "Startup impact" column
For disk cleanup, just run "cleanmgr /sageset:0", check everything you want, run "cleanmgr /sagerun:0" after major changes on your system (like the now 6 monthly upgrades of Windows 10)
For registry cleanup: NOPE NOPE NOPE (In case of extreme emergencies there is an automatic registry backup at c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack)

I can't disagree with any of this. It definitely is preferred to clean wipe, when time permits. Unfortunately at my current job, where I have used Windows for the first time (outside of tech support roles), that does not happen; therefore I use CCleaner and tools of the such to get my computer working again. Do I think it is a great approach, no, but it is a method to keep on going.

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