WinRAR patched 19-year-old bug that left millions vulnerable

WinRAR patched 19-year-old bug that left millions vulnerable

WinRAR patched 19-year-old bug that left millions vulnerable

The popular file archiving tool WinRAR has had a bug for at least 14 years that can be exploited to take over your PC.

Discovered by, Check Point, a software company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, the flaw in WinRAR was discovered during a fuzz test which is usually used to induce software crashes by feeding random data.

"The exploit works by just extracting an archive, and puts over 500 million users at risk", the company said in a detailed report published on Wednesday.

The vulnerability itself lies in unacev2.dll, a library used to parse ACE archives, a little-used compression format that dates back to the 1990s.

It's all because of a third-party library called UNACEV2.DLL that's used to extract files compressed using the ACE compression format.

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They created a malicious ACE archive disguised as a RAR file that, when decompressed by WinRAR, extracts a malicious executable to one of the system's Startup Folders, meaning that the malware will be executed every time the system is (re) booted. The CheckPoint researchers found that while WinRAR by default does not have access to the Windows startup folder, (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp), a second directory, at (C:\Users\ user name \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup) was accessible.

The developer of WinRAR has made a decision to patch the vulnerability by dropping support for the ACE format. Check Point has uploaded a video demonstrating the threat.

The creators of the WinRAR utility were notified of the vulnerability and have made a decision to fix it by dropping ACE archive format support altogether.

It's important to note that simply visiting WinRAR's website and clicking the download button is not sufficient to resolve this issue; doing so will give you version 5.61. But it's possible others may have stumbled on the bug as well.

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