WinRAR, the conventional choice for compressing and archiving files is under threat! The news has baffled millions of Windows users across the world as the security vulnerability issue found with the application can affect a computer within a few seconds. Iranian researcher Mohammad Reza Espargham first spoke of this vulnerability on the forum for security information Full Disclosure. He said, “The vulnerability allows unauthorized remote attackers to execute system specific code to compromise a target system.”
All WinRAR SFX files under threat
These reports of a security threat have also been confirmed by security firm MalwareBytes, which stated that the remote attacker is so powerful that it can affect any version of WinRAR SFX.
The reports also confirm that this vulnerability allows remote attackers to operate different malicious codes in the computer when the user tries to unzip an archived SFX file. In its reports, the security firm stated, “Basically, the attack uses the option to write HTML code in the text display window when creating a SFX archive.”
Noticing the vulnerability found in WinRAR files, its developer RAR Labs said that the “executable files are potentially dangerous by design”. Hence, it is always wise to run them only when it comes from genuine sources. It also said that the rule should not be followed for SFX files only but also for any .exe files.
While news that the malware can affect the system as well as network is alarming for users, there is something even worse. At present, there is no patch for this threat, which means anyone using the application can be affected with a single interaction.
As of now, users need to be extremely cautious while operating SFX archive files and avoid ones coming from unreliable sources. Yet, that does not assure the safety of the device as the malware is quite strong this time.
Windows users worry
The news of vulnerability issues is WinRAR files has not only raised eyebrows of experts but is also a cause of concern for laymen using computers. Delhi-based student Devansh Sharma, who uses a computer for his college projects said, “This is quite a threat for the computer as I often download WinRAR files from different sources just out of curiosity.”
Neel Agasti sounded the same way, “I have to download different WinRAR files for my work and some come from unknown sources as well. So, my computer is at risk.”
This worry is common among Windows users all over the world and we expect Microsoft to come up with a fix soon.