A few months ago, Heartbleed had businesses in a state of panic when it was revealed that a lot of company’s websites’ were using an application that had a vulnerability, which allowed hackers to break into websites and retrieve data, such as personal information including social security numbers stored on servers.
Now a vulnerability known as Bash bug or Shellshock is scaring businesses in the same manner, however; it’s much more restricted to Unix and Linux servers, and if you’re running a Windows environment, there’s no need to worry. Unfortunately, almost all corporate public websites run Unix; so there’s a scramble going on to try and fix it.
So what happens when the Bash bug is exploited? Well, the attacker is able to gain access to a website, then put malicious code on the website or put malicious code on other systems on the network. Essentially, it’s a very serious issue and the Homeland Security spokespersons have rated the vulnerability a 10 in terms of danger.
While there’s several different patches out there, it’s been discovered that the vulnerability has been around for over 20 years! What does that mean for consumers? Well, there’s no telling how much damage has really been done.
On another note, Shockwave, a popular product that allows video and audio to be played on a website without downloading an application, tends to be causing a lot of issues lately. In fact, Shockwave Player often stops working and causes an error message to pop up.
How does Shockwave Player work? It’s embedded on major websites, including newspaper websites; however, it’s fairly frustrating as it slows down processing in computers. Essentially, Shockwave will crash and lock up memory/CPU cycles. If you press CTRL/ALT/DLT and bring up the task manager, you’re going to notice the program using up 50-60% of CPU cycles, ultimately causing everything else to run super slow.
In the past, websites were designed to be streamlined and fast, in order to ensure people wanted to spend time on the website; however, those practices have started to fall away while companies are embedding video and audio into their websites to make them more dynamic. Often, it simply slows their website down, which leads consumers away from the website.
Of course, a web presence is important, but it shouldn’t be loaded with so much stuff that takes forever to load. In fact, the majority of readers are fairly impatient and will move onto another website that’s faster to load.