Beware of Internet Shortcut Files on Your Windows Computer

CVSScvssV3_1: 8.1

Microsoft Windows computers are prone to a security vulnerability related to Internet shortcut files that could allow attackers to bypass security features. The vulnerability has been assigned the identifier CVE-2024-21412 and has a CVSS score of 8.1, making it an important issue to address.

Internet shortcut files end with .URL extensions and are used on Windows systems to create clickable links to websites. However, researchers found that specially crafted shortcut files could trick users into running malicious payloads without their knowledge. This happens due to how Windows handles URL shortcut files and allows arbitrary code execution when a user clicks on the shortcut.

An attacker could exploit this by sending a boobytrapped Internet shortcut file via email or other means. If the target user opens or clicks on the file, it could download and run malware on the system without showing any security warnings. This bypass of the system’s usual protections makes it a serious security risk.

The good news is that Windows users can protect themselves from this vulnerability. Make sure to be cautious of any unexpected or unsolicited .URL files received, and avoid clicking on them until the issue has been patched. You should also keep your Windows system and web browser updated with the latest security fixes to prevent exploitation. Staying vigilant about opening files only from trusted sources helps enhance your computer’s security.

With a few simple precautions, Windows users can protect themselves from this Internet shortcut file vulnerability until Microsoft issues an official fix. Stay safe online!