- Now is a good time to update your software
- Periodic updates can be good
- Remember to keep devices plugged in while updating
The Whole Picture
Over the last few months there have been two very huge security scares – or better put, security people have learned how to market major issues. Security flaws are found quite frequently, but they are usually named things like CVE-2014-6287. Hard to be scared or excited about that. Either way, the latest two major security issues – Heartbleed and Shell Shock (much catchier names, no) – actually have very large potential implications. I wrote a post about Heartbleed a few weeks ago. For the average person, not much needed to be done – it was something for a system administrator to fix. Shell Shock is completely different.
Shell Shock affects a standard user’s computer. Anyone running Mac OS, Linux, or Unix. Normal Windows users are fairly safe – but not completely. Believe it or not, some devices such as printers, external hard drives, and even internet routers run versions of Linux.
What Does Shell Shock Do?
The vulnerability lets – in certain circumstances – any command be run on your computer. This could ultimately someone write a virus to do nearly anything on your computer and without your permission (wouldn’t even ask you to install anything).
The good news is that the issue was fixed and updating your software should solve the issue on most devices. So, while most people see “An update is available” and click “ignore” I highly recommend that you take the time to update, especially if you’re on a Mac.
It’s good to update on a regular basis.
Updates can be a pain, they always pop up in the middle of your work, and require you to restart your computer, etc. Mark on your calendar once a month to make sure you update your phone and computer. Big and small security issues are discovered all the time, and updates keep your device safe. Often hackers/virus writers don’t know about a flaw until it is discovered and fixed but will still write malicious code to take advantage of people who don’t update.