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Huge OS flaw makes surfing the web a serious risk

Huge OS flaw makes surfing the web a serious risk

Most of us probably don't realize it but there's one operating system out there that's more dominant than Windows, iOS or OS X.

It currently powers supercomputers, servers, smartphones, smart TVs, cars, spaceships, entertainment systems, and pocket computers. You name it, this system is probably involved with it one way or another. It is so well adopted that it totally surrounds us.

Of course, we are talking about Linux, the free and open-sourced computer operating system. It is the system Android is based on and it is now the go-to software for business mainframes, and more importantly, web servers.

This makes potential Linux flaws and bugs critical to the security and safety of users everywhere, regardless of operating system allegiances, since a huge chunk of the internet runs on Linux.

One such Linux flaw was discovered recently and it could have dire consequences if it's not addressed properly.

Security researchers from the University of California at Riverside and the US Army Research Laboratory found a serious vulnerability in how Linux systems communicate with internet traffic. The flaw involves Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections, the language that facilitates all internet communication.

The flaw is said to allow attackers to intercept and hijack web traffic, inject malicious code to unsuspecting clients, perform denial-of-service attacks, and even disrupt and crash encrypted internet communications.

Ironically, the vulnerability is caused by a Linux internet standard that was implemented to protect systems from hackers. The standard named Request for Comments: 5961 (RFC 5961) was introduced to the Linux kernel in 2012 and it is supposed to improve TCP security and protect against blind in-window attacks.

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