Security flaws similar to the one we are going to talk about below have already been seen on other occasions in the past in important software solutions such as Windows, for instance. We are talking about vulnerabilities that have been in force for years or even decades in the program and that had not been detected until now. As we will see below, a powerful application that has been present on our computers for a good amount of time, had a major security flaw that had not been seen.
To give you an idea of the importance of all this, we are specifically referring to the WinRAR file compressor and decompressor. Specifically, we are referring to a security flaw that has been accompanying this popular application for almost 20 years. We must start from the basis that this program has been with us for almost 25 years, which is not little. It is also important to know, at this point, that the vulnerability we are referring to was already fixed a few versions of the program ago.
This means that in the event that you have not updated the WinRAR file compressor, you should install the latest version. So that you understand more in depth what we are talking about, below, we will describe the dangers to which we have been exposed for almost two decades using this software solution.
What is WinRAR security flaw
To begin with, we will tell you that this bug endangers our entire PC. The reason for this is that attackers can take control of it by opening a file with malicious code from this particular application. The security flaw is located in a library called unacev2.dll. This is used to unzip files into ACE format. It is true that today it is a format of these characteristics that is hardly used, but it was very popular at the time.
Be that as it may, the bug we are talking about allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the PC on which we use WinRAR by decompressing an infected file in this format. The vulnerability as such became known as Absolute Path Traversal. In addition, it is not only given in files with the aforementioned ACE format. We say this because the attacker can change the extension of this from ACE to RAR, for example, and still infect the system.
At this point we will tell you that this is a vulnerability which was already fixed in version 5.70. At that moment, all traces of the library that we mentioned earlier were erased, so the security hole was no longer present. That is precisely why, to avoid greater evils, we recommend update the program to its latest version as soon as possible. To check the version of the program on your computer, you just have to place it in the menu option Help / About WinRAR.