Users of WinRAR, take note: there’s an urgent need to upgrade to the most recent version due to a significant security flaw that’s being actively exploited. Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has highlighted that several state-sponsored hacker groups have been taking advantage of this weakness since the beginning of 2023.
TAG commented on their blog, “Although a fix has been released, a considerable number of users remain at risk. We’ve noticed hackers, supported by various governments, leveraging this WinRAR flaw in their operations.”
Both WinRAR versions 6.24 and 6.23 contain patches for this issue. However, the software lacks an auto-update function, requiring users to download and implement the patch manually. Surprisingly, in 2023, this widely-used Windows software still lacks an auto-update capability.
The security flaw in question can let hackers run any code when a Windows user tries to open files, for instance, a PNG within a ZIP folder. TAG elaborated on this, stating, “The vulnerability stems from an inconsistency in WinRAR when it expands unnecessary temporary files from manipulated archives. This is aggravated by a peculiarity in Windows’ ShellExecute when it tries to access a file with a spaced-out extension.”
Since early 2023, attackers have been exploiting a vulnerability in WinRAR
Furthermore, from April 2023, this flaw has been utilized to compromise cryptocurrency trading accounts. TAG emphasized, “The extensive misuse of the WinRAR glitch shows that, even when patches exist, using known vulnerabilities remains highly potent. The frequent attacks on this particular bug stress the critical nature of timely software updates and the ongoing need to simplify the update process for users.”
This is not the inaugural discovery of a major WinRAR flaw. Back in 2019, Check Point Research unveiled a code execution bug, lingering for 19 years, which could permit hackers to seize complete control of a user’s PC.
To safeguard your system, download the newest WinRAR update here. Alternatively, Windows 11 users can rely on the in-built support for RAR 7-zip files provided in the most recent OS update.