At the end of last week, news about a potentially serious technical bug called Shellshock hit the headlines. It was reported that the bug is capable of affecting hundreds of millions of computers, servers and devices.
But what is it? And should I be concerned?
The technical flaw has been found in Bash software, which is part of many Linux systems as well as Apple Mac operating systems. It allows hackers or cyber thieves to remotely take control of almost any system using Bash software.
It is believed to be more serious than Heartbleed, which is the bug everyone was worried about in April 2014. Heartbleed allowed people to see what you were up to and steal details, where as Shellshock allows people to take control and make changes to your devices/servers. Heartbleed affected 500,000 machines, whilst Shellshock reportedly has the potential to affect 500 million.
What should I do now?
The code to exploit the bug has been shared between hackers and cyber thieves. However, system administrators are already applying patches to the software to stop people gaining control and Apple are working on a fix for their own operating system.
Aside from updating your systems when you’re prompted to, end users can’t do too much about these technologically advanced bugs.
It is the role of system administrators and IT management to commit the time and resources to making sure these vulnerabilities don’t reach consumers. Anyone hosting a website running the affected operating systems is advised to apply patches to the software, which limit the attack surface.
It is technical bugs like this that make WebCare such an important service. At Mackman, WebCare is a package that comes with every website we create and is designed to ensure our customers websites are pro actively cared for. Rest assured, all our servers and the servers maintained by our partners are continuously updated, preventing our clients being left vulnerable to new technologically advanced bugs, such as Shellshock.
All in all, we’ve got your back.
To learn more about our WebCare services, visit our services page here.