ShellShock: Impact On Average People

In the previous post, I've written about the ShellShock vulnerability in a general way. Now I want to talk about how this vulnerability can impact all the average internet users.

So the question is: what can you do to protect yourself when surfing the web? The same good old things.

Check Your Router

As said in the previous post, there is a remote possibility that your router (if you have one) is vulnerable. To understand if you are at risk, the best thing to do is  is to take a look at the producer website. If you are lucky enough, a patch is already available. In any case, you should try before you trust.

Offline tests:

Online tests (not recommended - it's not a good thing to let someone know that your router can be attacked):

Use An Updated Browser

Since ShellShock vulnerability can be used to inject malicious code in trusted websites, this probably will result on several tries to take advantage of old and new known browser breaches. If you keep your browser always up to date, you'll be less vulnerable. Avoiding Internet Explorer is a good solution too.

Something should be said also for two products that usually act as plugins for the browser: Java and Flash. There are plenty of exploits based on vulnerability of these two products so it's better to disable them by default and allow their execution only if they are really needed.

Use An Updated OS

I know that you feel comfortable with Windows XP but you should know that Microsoft is not providing security patches anymore. This means that every vulnerability being discovered will never be fixed.

[If you feel comfortable with Windows Vista, please contact a doctor <grin /> ]

Use An Updated Antivirus

Nowadays AVs are smart enough to detect a wide range of malicious web attacks, even unknown ones with their heuristic algorithms.

There are plenty of good free and non-free antivirus out there: pick one and install it. An average AV is better than no AV.

This suggestion is basically for Windows and Android users but Mac addicted should worry too.

Conclusions

As you can see, all the above suggestions give you  more or less the same hint: keep everything up to date. This is because security is a process. This means that there is nothing that can be considered truly attack proof except if it is turned off and with the cable (or the battery) unplugged.


Cover image taken from Wikimedia Common (public domain).

Luca Sommacal

Luca Sommacal

Italian developer (mainly in C for embedded platforms), Linux learner, addicted to rock music, history, science and few other things. Follow me on Twitter

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