GlobalSCAPE Knowledge Base

Malware stole my FTP credentials!

Karla Marsh


  • CuteFTP® Home, versions 7 and 8
  • Cute FTP Pro®, versions 7 and 8


Malware stole my FTP credentials!


The problem with being one of the world's best FTP clients is that bad people try to hack you. Certain malware attacks look specifically for files used by CuteFTP, then attempt to use the information in the file to access the FTP sites that you have configured in your Site Manager.

First of all, understand that, unlike certain other FTP clients, CuteFTP's Site Manager data is NOT stored in plain text. In addition, CuteFTP Pro and Home versions include optional encryption to protect your Site Manager data. Protecting your Site Manager data is as simple as configuring a Site Manager "master" password. This master password is different than the individual passwords that you use to connect to your FTP sites. The Site Manager password secures all of the Sites in your Site Manager using Blowfish encryption, which is recognized as a standard, secure encryption algorithm, locking down the Site Manager data file so that even CuteFTP can't read it until you enter the password. (Note that if you forget the password, you will not be able to use the protected Site Manager data and will have to create new Sites.)

To configure the Site Manager password, click Tools > Site Manager > Security > Encrypt Site Manager data, then provide a secure password in the dialog box that appears. To be secure, a password should contain at least 8 characters, both numbers and letters, upper and lower case, with punctuation. For example, !Ts6J4?5 is more secure than IamSecure. Refer to General Security Settings and Protecting Site Manager Content for more details of securing your CuteFTP Site Manager.

For more information about how malware hacks into FTP clients, refer to 10 FTP Clients Malware Steals Credentials From.

In addition to securing your Site Manager data, you should protect your file transfers by using a secure protocol  such as SFTP (SSH2) or FTPS (SSL). CuteFTP Pro offers both SSH and SSL; CuteFTP Home offers SSL. Ask your ISP if you can use SSH2 or SSL to transfer your files.

Last Modified: 11 Years Ago
Last Modified By: GlobalSCAPE 5
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