Hackers Using WinRAR to Conduct Cyberattacks — How to Secure Compressed Files

    WinRAR Cyberattacks Compressed Files

    Recent news coverage reports that hackers are allegedly utilizing the WinRAR file compression tool to erase valuable data belonging to multiple government agencies. If you are a WinRAR user, it’s important to be up to speed on these latest developments — for that, read on.

    What Is WinRAR?

    WinRAR is a powerful file compression and archiving utility that provides a range of features and capabilities for managing files and reducing their size. It enables users to compress files and folders into a single compressed archive and supports a wide range of compression formats, including the popular ZIP format as well as its proprietary RAR format.

    What Is WinRAR? Source: Shutterstock

    Security Threats from Zipped Files

    Cybercriminals often exploit zipped files by concealing malware within them and distributing them through email attachments or online downloads. When unsuspecting users unzip these files, the hidden malware can infect their computer systems, compromising their security and perhaps beginning a ransomware attack.

    Security Threats from File Extractors like WinRAR

    One possible security threat is that WinRAR can be used to create or open malicious archive files that contain viruses or ransomware. These files can infect your computer and encrypt your data, at which point the hacker will demand a ransom for decryption.

    Another possible security threat is that WinRAR has been known to contain a critical bug (CVE-2018-20250). If a user does not patch this flaw, attackers can exploit the vulnerability in the ACE archive format of WinRAR.

    Use Unzip One, the Best Compressing and Extracting Tool

    Unzip One is a free archiving manager that can open and extract any archive file, including RAR, Zip, 7z, gzip, bzip2, and more, in seconds. It also supports file compression to save disk space, and file encryption to protect your data. Unzip One is available for both Mac and Windows, offering features such as: easy setup, drag and drop, convenient preview, and most importantly, secure extraction, which will scan files and protect you against viruses distributed in compressed files. Give it a try today!

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