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Bash-Bug Penetration Testing - Anatomy of Shelllock

A new security vulnerability known as the Bash or Shellshock bug could spell disaster for major digital companies, small-scale Web hosts and even Internet-connected devices.

The quarter-century-old security flaw allows malicious code execution within the bash shell (commonly accessed through Command Prompt on PC or Mac's Terminal application) to take over an operating system and access confidential information.

A post from open-source software company Red Hat warned that "it is common for a lot of programs to run Bash shell in the background," and the bug is "triggered" when extra code is added within the lines of Bash code.


Security expert Robert Graham has warned that the Bash bug is bigger than Heartbleed because "the bug interacts with other software in unexpected ways" and because an "enormous percentage" of software interacts with the shell.

"We'll never be able to catalogue all the software out there that is vulnerable to the Bash bug," Graham said. "While the known systems (like your Web server) are patched, unknown systems remain unpatched. We see that with the Heartbleed bug: six months later, hundreds of thousands of systems remain vulnerable."

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