As a Mac user with little exception for over two decades, I’m come to feel I’m considerably more protected from hackers than my PC using friends, family, and colleagues. While this might be arrogant at its root it has also kept me virus free for well over 20 years. I’m never once, to the best of my knowledge, ever found myself victim of a crash computer at the hands of a virus. Additionally, I’m felt no need to read up on the bigger virus threats like the “Heartbleed” which was discovered earlier this year.
Apple iMac Bash bug: Wait, it’s preinstalled on my computer?
Bash comes pre-installed on both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iMac and MacBook computers. OK, I’m listening. It also affects other Linux-based systems. Less interested.
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It allows hackers to essentially gain full access to your computer including “sensitive information, confidential information, intellectual property, customer data, financial data – the list goes on – including the ability to make changes,” Kyle Kennedy, chief technology officer at data security firm STEALTHbits Technologies, said in a statement.
And it’s not just data security firms that are frightened, The Department of Homeland Security’s computer security team also issued an alert about the bug early on Thursday.
This “bash bug” is really quite scary to me all of a sudden. It’s apparently ridiculously easy to use with Dan Guido, chief executive of a cybersecurity firm Trail of Bits saying, “The method of exploiting this issue is also far simpler. You can just cut and paste a line of code and get good results.”
Tod Beardsley, an engineering manager at cybersecurity firm Rapid7 almost went so far as to compare it to Ebola in its severity and ease by which it could quickly infect millions.
I need a patch and not to quit smoking
“Using this vulnerability, attackers can potentially take over the operating system, access confidential information, make changes, et cetera,” Beardsley said. “Anybody with systems using Bash needs to deploy the patch immediately.”
What patch? Where can I get a patch? So far Apple has not responded to requests for comments by many news sources and security firms as of this writing on late Thursday afternoon.
Operating systems based off Linux, including CentOS, Debian, Redhat and Ubuntu, have issued updates to begin squashing the bug, the Department of Homeland Security said. While Apple, who developed the damn thing along with non-profit Free Software Foundation is remaining silent?
While I don’t doubt Apple will get up to speed, I’m pulling the plug on my router tonight when work is finished.