At the end of last week, news about a potentially serious technical bug called Shellshock hit the headlines. It was reported that the bug is capable of affecting hundreds of millions of computers, servers and devices.

But what is shellshock? And should I be concerned?

The technical bug was found in Bash software, which is part of many Linux systems as well as Apple Mac operating systems. It allows hackers or cyber thieves to remotely take control of almost any system using Bash software.

It seems that shellshock is more serious than Heartbleed, which is the bug everyone was worried about in April 2014. Heartbleed allows people to see what you were up to and steal details, whereas Shellshock allows people to take control and make changes to your devices/servers. Heartbleed affected 500,000 machines, whilst Shellshock reportedly has the potential to affect 500 million.

What should I do now?

Hackers and cyber thieves share the code to exploit the bug. However, system administrators already apply patches to the software to stop people from gaining control. Also, Apple is working on a fix for their own operating system.

Aside from updating your systems when you’re prompted to, end users can’t do too much about these technologically advanced bugs.

System administrators and IT management are responsible for committing the time and resources to make sure these vulnerabilities don’t reach consumers. Anyone that hosts a website running the affected operating systems is advised to apply patches to the software, which limit the attack surface.

It is technical bugs like this that make WebCare such an important service. At Mackman, WebCare is a package that comes with every website we create. It is designed to ensure our customers websites are pro actively cared for. Thus our service ensures that our customers are not susceptible to new technologically advanced bugs such as Shellshock.

All in all, we’ve got your back.

To learn more about our WebCare services, visit our website development page.