Have you installed WinRAR on your Windows PC? Then you are probably vulnerable to attacks. RARLab fixed a dangerous security bug at the end of February 2019, but WinRAR does not update itself automatically. Most WinRAR installations are still vulnerable.
What is the danger?
WinRAR contains an error that causes a downloaded .RAR file to automatically extract an .exe file to the Startup folder. This .exe file will start automatically the next time you log in to your PC and could infect your PC with malware.
This error is due in particular to the support of WinRAR's ACE file. An attacker would just have to create a specially crafted ACE archive and assign the file extension .RAR to it. If you extract the file with a vulnerable version of WinRAR, it can automatically place malware in the Startup folder without the need for additional user action.
This fatal flaw was found by researchers from Check Point Software Technologies. WinRAR included an old DLL from 2006 to support ACE archives. This file has been removed from the latest versions of WinRAR that no longer support ACE archives. Do not worry ̵
However, if you have not already heard about this path traversal error, you may be at risk. WinRAR does not update itself automatically. We are also extremely disappointed that the WinRAR Web site does not highlight information about this security flaw, but rather buries it in the WinRAR Release Notes.
According to reports, WinRAR has 500 million users worldwide, and we're sure that most of these users have not done so, have heard of this bug, and updated WinRAR.
While an update was released in February, this story is gaining momentum. McAfee security researchers identified more than 100 unique online exploits in mid-March, targeting most users in the United States. For example, a bootlegged copy of the album "Thank U, Next" by Ariana Grande with the filename "Ariana_Grande-thank_u, _next (2019) _  .rar", which is available online for installing malware over vulnerable versions of WinRAR used. 19659005]
Checking if WinRAR is installed
If you are not sure if WinRAR is installed, just do a search in your Start menu for "WinRAR". If you see a WinRAR shortcut, it is installed. If you do not see a WinRAR link, this is not the case.
Which WinRAR versions are vulnerable?
If you see WinRAR installed, you should check if you have WinRAR installed Run a vulnerable version. To do this, start WinRAR and click Help> About WinRAR.
. WinRAR versions 5.70 and above are safe. If you have an older version of WinRAR, it is vulnerable. This security error is present in every version of WinRAR for the last 19 years.
If you have Version 5.70 Beta 1 installed, this is also safe, but we recommend installing the latest stable version.
How to Protect Your PC from Harmful RARs
To continue using WinRAR, visit the RARLab website, download and install the latest version of WinRAR on your PC
WinRAR does not update automatically, so the WinRAR software on your computer is vulnerable until then.
You can also simply uninstall WinRAR from the Control Panel. We're not big fans of WinRAR, a trialware that's either paid or annoying.
Instead, we recommend that you download the free and install 7-Zip open source software – it's our most popular archiving software. 7-Zip can open both RAR files and other archive formats such as ZIP and 7z.
If you do not like the program's obsolete icons, you'll get better-looking icons for 7-Zip.
Regardless of the software you use for archiving, we recommend that you install and activate a robust antivirus program. Anti-virus software can often detect malware like this and block the installation even if you use vulnerable software. However, the security software is not perfect and you can not count on every malware being found online. For this reason, a multi-layered defense strategy is important.
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