By: Matthew Sorenson
There's a new bug in town.
A new programming flaw has been identified, nicknamed the "Bash Bug" that could put millions of computers at risk. It has the potential to be so severe that it could easily disable larger systems used to run large-scale operations, such as those within power plants and factories in an instant.
The Bash Bug derives its name from the Bash software, which has been around since 1989. It is primarily found on Unix-based systems such as Linux and Mac OS x. Essentially, Bash is a command interface where you can instruct your computer what to do. Through exploiting this bug, unauthorized users can take control of your system to install programs and run commands.
Oddly enough, Bash has been around for 25 years. However, it is only now just starting to gain attention in the internet security community, as the bug has only been discovered recently. The good news is that for now it seems like this bug is more of just a hassle than a major problem. Mac users need to be especially wary as many of these hacks tend to take place over public Wi-Fi networks, an environment where it is much easier for a user to take control of a device remotely. The problem has also been readily apparent through the infiltration of home router networks where hackers are sucking up large amounts of internet bandwidths to run up people's bills.
Many experts think that there is a very good chance that the bug could eventually be used to create some kind of Internet "worm" that will allow flawed codes travel from one server to the next. A breach of this proportion could very likely slow down the entire Internet and also cause a shutdown of a number of important services.
The common theme here is that our increased reliance on the internet for so many aspects of day-to-day life will only further escalate the risk. Unfortunately, this trend does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. The continual exponential growth of cloud-based technology along with consumer's desire to be able to connect and access important documents and information over the internet at all times will continue to present ongoing challenges in dealing with such threats.
It is important to think that at some point there may only be so much that the internet security experts can do. While many are working hard to develop and update the platforms at a frantic pace, we must also realize that advances in technology almost always come with some form of new risk. It is very possible that the only solution may just be to learn to live with these risks, at least for the near future... but how much can we handle?
Image 1 courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net