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Dangerous new bug hits most websites plus consumer electronics

Dangerous new bug hits most websites plus consumer electronics
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Hackers are calling this dangerous security bug "worse than Heartbleed." If you remember how easily Heartbleed let hackers steal your info, then today’s news is a big concern. This time, the problem affects both websites you may visit plus everyday electronic gear you may have.

By one estimate, nearly two thirds of all Web servers are vulnerable to this new Bash bug. This could mean hundreds of thousands or even millions of websites are affected. The Bash bug is so scary, in fact, that the exploit even lets hackers open and close the CD drive on your computer.

Bash gives hackers a wide-open backdoor into your computer that, unlike most viruses, lets them remotely execute a file. This means that they can install files without your consent. Every Apple and Linux computer in the world is, as of this moment, vulnerable to attack.

After a security expert reported the exploit yesterday, hackers leaped into action and created the "Thanks, Richard" worm. The worm is a form of malware that looks for computers that it can infect and then automatically does so.

After infecting a system, the worm automatically looks for more places to infect. While we don't yet know what software was in the worm, the sheer number of devices vulnerable to the Bash exploit is staggering.

By taking advantage of Bash, hackers could infect "smart" thermostats, lightbulbs and door locks. It's a one-stop shop for becoming a villain straight out of a comic book movie.

Next page: How hackers could strike and how to protect yourself.
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