Hackers have begun exploiting a newly identified computer bug called “Shellshock”, using fast-moving worm viruses to look for vulnerable systems and then infect them, Reuters reported, citing internet security experts.
The new bug enables hackers to gain complete control of an infected computer, allowing them to destroy data, shut down networks or launch attacks on websites, the experts said.
The industry is rushing to determine which systems can be remotely compromised by hackers, but there are currently no estimates on the number of vulnerable systems, according to the news agency.
Amazon.com and Google have released bulletins to advise web services customers how to protect themselves from the new cyber threat. A Google spokesman said the company is releasing software patches to fix the bug.
“Shellshock” is the latest major internet threat to emerge since the discovery in April of “Heartbleed”, which affected encryption software used in about two-thirds of all web servers, along with hundreds of technology products, the report said.
The latest bug has been compared to “Heartbleed” partly because the software at the heart of the “Shellshock” bug, known as Bash, is also widely used in web servers and other types of computer equipment.
According to security experts, “Shellshock” is unlikely to affect as many systems as “Heartbleed” because not all computers running Bash can be exploited.
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