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Is HandBrake Safe to Download and Use? | WinX Answers

HandBrake Mac version was hacked in May 2018. Is HandBrake safe to download and use for Mac now? How about other download versions for Windows and Ubuntu?

I've just upgraded my computer from Window 7 to Windows 10, and want to free download the latest HandBrake [1] software on my PC from its official site handbrake.fr, for transferring videos and ripping some DVDs at times. But I'm not sure whether HandBrake is safe to download now. Because it's said to be hacked not long ago... If it's unsafe to download, where should I get 100% secure HandBrake?

[1] HandBrake wiki: HandBrake is a free and open-source transcoder for digital video files, originally developed in 2003 by Eric Petit to make ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions.

Best Answers to "Is HandBrake Safe" related questions

1. Is it safe to download HandBrake now? - Yes

You can safely download HandBrake of any version from handbrake.fr now.

From the official announcement of security warning from HandBrake Team, it's easy to draw that only the HandBrake-1.0.7.dmg file downloaded from handbrake.fr/downloads.php and its mirror site download.handbrake.fr (shutdown now) during [May 2, 2017 14:30 UTC] to [May 6, 2017 11:00 UTC] may have Mac computer be infected with malware named "Remote Access Trojan (RAT)". Due to this malicious app was removed on May 6, you needn't worry about its safety now.

2. Why HandBrake was attacked? And will it be the target again in the future?

Software attack is nothing strange. As a commonly-used measure for hackers, it enables them to hack into computers at administrator level for possessive computer controlling, profitable data stealing or something else. During this HandBrake attack, Panic Inc. was a representative victim with source codes of several apps stolen, being asked to ransom the code with a large amount of bitcoins. But it finally refused to do so and contacted with FBI & Apple to do some remediation.

Since every piece of software, either open-sourced or commercially-developed, can be the target of hacker, it's uncertain whether HandBrake Mac or other versions would be hacked again or not.

3. How to avoid your computer to be infected with dangerous "extras"?

This time when HandBrake fake was installed and ran on Mac, an unusual dialog box asking for your username and password popped up. If you fill the right information in, the harmful malware would be installed to your Mac under:
~/Library/LaunchAgents/fr.handbrake.activity_agent.plist
~/Library/RenderFiles/activity_agent.app

Therefore, the first tip to stay away from malware is to "look before you leap", keeping suspicious of anything abnormal, being careful enough to give any crucial account information during software downloading, installing and running. Of course you should update your anti-virus software and operation system regularly to defense newer viruses.

4. What's the best HandBrake alternative when HB fails to do some video conversions?

HandBrake was finally out of its beta-test stage and reached 1.0 milestone at 2016 Christmas Eve. As a video converter, it perfectly supports transferring videos to MP4/MKV in multiple codecs, including hot H.264 (Intel QSV), H.265, MPEG and VP9, with rich device presets provided. But as a DVD ripper, it still acts indifferently, having no idea on non-homemade and encrypted DVD content in disc, folder, or ISO image types. Even after installing libdvdcss from VideoLAN, it only takes effect on CSS-locked DVD movies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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