The Bash Bug is a newly discovered programing flaw that has been hiding in plain sight for more than two decades. It is also referred to as “Shellshock” and this may cause a threat to millions of computers along with other devices like home Internet routers. This is the Bash Bug talked about on “Fox and Friends Weekend” live on Sunday morning Sept. 28.
The Bash Bug could affect computers that are used to run power plants, water systems and even factory floors, according to CBS News this morning. This Bash Bug can cause more of a problem than the Heartbleed flaw that came to light about six months ago.
The commonly used piece of software called the Bash has been around since 1989. It is used in a variety of UNIX-based systems, which includes Linux and Mac OS X. Many different routers, servers Mac computers, Android phones, medical devices and even the computers that create the bitcoins use UNIX in some form.
Many systems used to run power plants and water systems are also possible contenders for this Bash Bug. Disconnecting these systems from the Internet to avoid this risk was already suggested by security experts.
Bash is a “command shell”- it is the device that lets you tell your computer to do what you want it to do. If the Bash Bug gets a hold of your computer than who is ever controlling it will now be able to tell it what to do, which can be anything from retrieving batches of passwords to taking over the plants that distribute power and water. Even systems that keep a factory up and moving can be vulnerable to this.
The Bash Bug lets outsiders take control and they could install all kinds of devices or run all sorts of commands. The Heartbleed exposed passwords, but the Bash Bug goes so much further.
The good news is that your computer or a system needs to be using Bash to be vulnerable to the Bash Bug. Even if Bash does exist in your system, there’s a good chance it isn’t being used anymore after years of updates and a newer command shell could be in use.
The Bash Bug has been hiding in plain sight for decades until recently when Stephanie Chazelas of Akamai Technologies Inc. found it. The Hearbleed flaw was around two years before that was discovered.
Mac owners are the ones with the more “vexing problem,” cites CBS News. Mac users on a public Wi-Fi network like the kind in an airport or a coffee shop are at a greater risk because this Bash Bug makes it easy for hackers to get into the Mac computer.
Apple reports that most Mac users are not at risk unless they’ve configured advanced UNIX services, reports CNET. If a hacker does take control of an Internet router they could feasibly consume a tremendous amount of bandwith. This could result in the owner of that system getting hit with an astronomical bill if the internet provide has a monthly cap for usage in place.
As an everyday user, CBS reports that there is not much to do but wait for fixes for their products to be released. The Internet has taken off in an explosion from day one and it is growing at a rate that not many would have guessed at a few decades back.
The Montgomery Advertiser reports that experts are warning consumers of the Bash Bug today. They are saying that it is worse than Heartbleed if your computer gets the bug, but it is not as easy to get as the Heartbleed was to contract.
These types of problems come with the growth of online communications and it looks like problems like the Bash Bug or Heartbleed are just some of the problems that will crop up from time to time. As CBS suggest, soon everything under the sun will plug into the Internet, like coffee machines and automobiles.