There is no doubt that as a tech-savvy individual, you would have used WinRAR at some point as a daily driver. The software has been around for almost two decades and it was a lightweight tool to extract .ZIP files and other file archives on PC. More than 500 people million have used it over the years and many of them wouldn’t be delighted to hear that WinRAR has just patched a security exploit that had gone undetected for 19 years.
The security flaw was discovered by researchers at Check Point Research. It allowed hackers to manipulate WinRAR into extracting a malicious program to a PC’s startup folder by renaming an ACE file with a RAR extension. The malicious program could then run automatically when the PC started up.
The researchers pointed out that this flaw went undetected for 19 years and soon after they reported it, WinRAR patched it with version 5.70 beta 1 of its software. The latest version ends support for ACE archives. WinRAR was actually using a third party tool to unpack ACE archives in the first place which hadn’t been updated since 2005.
Nevertheless, it’s pretty alarming that this vulnerability was able to fly under the radar for almost two decades even has the software was used by such a humongous amount of people. Those who still use this software should definitely install the latest version to ensure that they are protected against this vulnerability down the line.