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Worst ever computer bug: Tech panic spreads as governments & industry rush to protect Internet!

Worst ever computer bug: Tech panic spreads as governments & industry rush to protect Internet!
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Yesterday, I brought you breaking news about the dangerous new “Bash” bug. Turns out the media is now calling it "Shellshock," and it’s even bigger than the wildest estimates. With this bug, hackers can invade half a billion websites and even more gadgets, including your Wi-Fi router.

This hack is so massive that it even has governments worldwide running scared. That's because a flaw in how most devices connect to the Internet allows a hacker complete access. Some reports estimate at least 63% of all Internet devices are in danger. Frankly, with many gadgets at risk, Shellshock could potentially bring down the Internet.

Don't know what Shellshock is? Check out my coverage of this dangerous hack yesterday to get up to speed.

From what is known now, which unfortunately is actually very little, computers powered by Microsoft Windows are safe. But there are basically three areas that can affect you. The Web servers that run websites - perhaps a half billion or so - are vulnerable, which puts your banking and shopping info at risk. Your Internet-connected devices, such as Wi-Fi routers, may be at risk. And every Apple computer is also susceptible to the virus.

So susceptible, in fact, that hackers can even open and close your CD drive at will. While fixes are being rushed as we speak, your Apple computer might already be secretly enslaved by hackers.

If you're using an Apple computer, finding out if you've been infected by the Shellshock exploit isn't as hard as you'd think. First, you must open up the terminal program. To find it, click on the magnifying glass on the far upper-right hand corner of your screen to open up Spotlight.

Now type "terminal" into the search bar. Click it and paste this into the terminal window:

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' bash -c 'echo this is a test'

Press return, and if you see the word "vulnerable," then your computer could be in trouble.

Even if you aren't vulnerable, you're still going to want to take a few precautions while you surf the Web. Be sure to avoid any websites with media files that aren't heavily protected. The Shellshock exploit is avoidable, but a website's owners have to be vigilant.

You can probably trust major sites like YouTube or Yahoo to keep malware off your computer, but something like an obscure little blog might not keep their security protocols up to date.

For the time being, avoid banking, online shopping and anything else that takes your payment information. No one is sure how many sites could be infected, and the next couple of days will definitely be dangerous. Stick with me as this story develops.

As always, be sure to keep your anti-virus software up to date and hunting down any potential threats.

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