WinRAR 6.24 available

Users should update to the latest version to protect themselves from a serious security vulnerability.

WinRAR compresses files and folders reliably and has also been compressing them for what feels like an eternity on many systems. Google is now warning of a serious security vulnerability. Users should update to the latest version manually.

Packing file has been possible on Windows for many years with packing programs like WinRAR. Although Windows 11 has recently been able to handle RAR files natively and has been unpacking and packing files into ZIP format for many years, external helpers can handle many more formats, work faster and score points with convenience and additional functions that are available with Windows. The most popular packing program for ZIP, RAR & Co. is WinRAR and version 6.24 has recently been available for download.

In a blog post, Google's security experts explain that many users of the file archiving program should urgently update to the latest version in order to protect themselves from the exploitation of a serious security vulnerability by current attack campaigns. All WinRAR versions lower than 6.23 are affected.

The Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG) reports that attacks using the WinRAR vulnerability have been carried out since the beginning of 2023, orchestrated by state-backed hackers. Although this gap has been fixed by the WinRAR developers for some time, the majority of users still have to manually update the software to the latest version because WinRAR does not have an auto-update.

According to Google, attackers can execute arbitrary code on Windows, for example opening a PNG file in a seemingly harmless ZIP archive. Due to certain properties of the Windows library ShellExecute, specially prepared archives can trigger the unpacking of external files. According to Google, this case highlights the possibility that vulnerabilities in popular software can be widely exploited even after developers have already fixed the vulnerabilities.

WinRAR 6.24 can be downloaded in both English and German versions in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Attention: If you are a 64-bit user of WinRAR, you should also use the 64-bit version as it works faster.

Find WinRAR downloads here.

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