Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 15 March 2019 08:18

Hundreds of exploits for 19-year-old WinRar flaw


A researcher at security outfit McAfee says he has observed more than 100 exploits for a 19-year-old code execution vulnerability in the WinRar, a popular compression tool used on Windows.

The vulnerability was found by the firm Check Point last month. WinRar has more than 500 million users worldwide.

McAfee's Craig Schmugar wrote that one recent exploit piggybacked on a bootlegged copy of singer Ariana Grande's hit album Thank U Next, with a filename of Ariana_Grande-thank_u,_next(2019)_[320].rar.

"While a patched version, 5.70, was released on 26 February, attackers are releasing exploits in an effort to reach vulnerable systems before they can be patched," he said.

With regard to the example he had cited, Schmugar said when a vulnerable version of WinRar was used to extract the archive, a malicious payload was created in the Startup folder.

winrar one

Malformed archive detected by McAfee.

"User Access Control is bypassed, so no alert is displayed to the user. The next time the system restarts, the malware is run," he said.

Most of the initial targets of the exploits were in the US.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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