Security experts recently discovered a flaw in the widely used Unix Bash shell, leaving Linux machines, Mac OS X machines, firewalls, routers, and many more devices vulnerable to attack. The vulnerability, “Shellshock”, apparently has been in the BASH (Born Again Shell) code for many years.
So why is this important? A very large number of web-connected devices such as web servers, Mac OS X, and web-powered services which run on Linux-based devices have the BASH shell as part of the core operating system. The Shellshock issue runs very deep because of the vast number of devices running the Linux kernel. Shellshock’s roots are so deep which means that the vulnerability will still are found in unpatched systems for the foreseeable future.
In fact researchers are seeing evidence of the Shellshock BASH bug being exploited by cyber criminals. At least one exploit attempted to install a denial of service attack bot which guess the login information for the affected servers using a list of commonly used passwords.
What does this mean?
Apple, who is affected by this issue will no doubt apply patches the OS X as quickly as possible, however it’s impossible to know just how far this flaw reaches. This issue is likely to linger on in neglected websites, older routers, and older devices—many of which are impossible to patch—providing an opening for determined hackers to sneak into those systems.
So what should you do?
Well In short, you need to watch for security updates, particularly on OS X. Also be sure to keep an eye on any guidance you may get from your ISP or your Managed Service Provider. [Managed Services, Why Do I Want Them?] As always be cautious of emails requesting information or instructing you to run software – events like this are often followed by phishing attacks that capitalize on consumers’ fears.”
Slick Cyber Systems recommends contacting a trusted I.T. partner to discuss any concerns or questions you might have. Or contact a member of Slick Cyber Systems tech team to discuss any concerns you may have at (570) 371-5800 or visit us online at www.slickcybersystems.com