You might not think that a compression tool like 7-Zip could pose security problems for Windows. If so, you’d be wrong. I just learned — courtesy of a January 31 post from Woody Leonhard — that older versions of the program are vulnerable. Vulnerable as in having been issued CVE-2017-17969 for buffer overflow attack potential. This leaves PCs open to denial of service attacks (not so good) or the ability to “potentially execute arbitrary code via a crafted ZIP archive” (BAD). That’s why you want to jump up to Igor Pavlov’s 7-Zip page, grab a new copy, and install it right away. As the blog post title proclaims, you should “Update 7-zip to 18.01 NOW!!”
You want to get to version 18.01 (released Jan 18, 2018) or higher, ASAP!!
More About Update 7-ZIP to 18.01 NOW
This comes with one gotcha. Courtesy of its tight integration with File Explorer (7-Zip installs multiple shell extensions by default) you’ll have to reboot PCs once the update has been applied. OTOH, because there still aren’t any known exploits (none that I can find, anyway), you could wait until your next code refresh if you wanted to take a chance. I’m not sure that’s a good idea, though: I just upgraded all my copies of 7-Zip. Woody seems plenty insistent that you wanted to do this on January 30, when he issued his warning. It sure hasn’t gotten any safer in the meantime, either.
I feel strongly enough about this, in fact, that I just opened Secunia PSI to check 7-zip status therein. Sure enough, it shows the older 16.0 version of 7-Zip as “Up-to-date.” By extension that means they think it’s still safe. I’m writing them an e-mail now to inform them otherwise. I’ll also be observing that I kind of expect to hear about this kind of stuff from them via their software, rather than the other way ’round. Wonder if that’ll spur a reaction. If it doesn’t I’m going to have to find a replacement for Secunia PSI. Sigh.
I thought the whole reason I use Secunia PSI is to have it warn me about stuff like this?