Mikko Hypponen explains why Shellshock is more dangerous than Heartbleed

Security

In an interview with CNBC Africa’s Aki Anastasiou, our Mikko Hypponen explained why the Shellshock bug presents a larger threat to our security than the Heartbleed bug, which dominated the news earlier this year.

“Both Heartbleed and Shellshock are vulnerabilities in open source systems, Linux or Unix-based systems,” Mikko said.

“They’re both very serious. Heartbleed has sort of passed us by now. It happened a couple of months ago and once you patch you system against Heartbleed, attackers can no longer steal information from you,” he explained.

“But Shellshock is actually more serious. Even if you patch today, attackers could have already used Shellshock to gain access to your systems, even though you patched they still might be in your systems.”

In a world where buggy software is inevitable, Mikko offered three basic things all users can do to make sure they are as secure as possible:
1. Back up all your PCs and devices so you can recover your data if your house burns down.
2. Patch all of your software — including your browser and browser plugins — on all of your PC and devices on an ongoing basis.
3. Once you’ve backed up and patched, make sure you’re using updated anti-virus or security software on all your systems.

Wondering what’s the worst computer virus Mikko has ever seen in his decades fighting online threats? Check out the Q &A he did with the TED Radio Hour.

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