If you think back a year ago, the big news was the Heartbleed bug that left millions of servers around the Internet vulnerable to snooping from hackers. That eventually got fixed, but this year we're getting a scary bug that lets hackers go beyond just snooping.
It's called Venom and it could potentially let hackers take over entire datacenters. Datacenters are collections of servers that host Web services and websites. Imagine if hackers could read or modify the information for any website or online service and you get a sense of the seriousness of the problem.
To better understand how Venom works, let me explain a little bit about virtual machines. In most data centers there isn't a single computer for each websites or service. Instead, the hosting company will create multiple virtual machines on a single server, and each VM acts like its own server.
Did you know: You can create virtual machines on your own computer. It's a good way to test out a new operating system or create a safe space for financial programs. Click here for a free VM program.
VMs can't talk to each other (they don't even know other VMs exist), so information in one VM is completely safe from any other VM. The only thing that connects VMs together is a master program called a "hypervisor." It's that connection, the hypervisor, where a dangerous flaw has been discovered that could let clever hackers attack.