In addition to the recent Heartbleed bug, there was a major bug in the Internet Explorer Web browser which allowed many hackers to exploit it. Affecting all versions of Internet Explorer, the bug poses a grave threat to many users as it allows hackers to take control of your computer and spy on you.
The hackers specially targeted those who use Windows XP operating system, since Microsoft ended its support as of April 8, 2014. Although many personal users were affected, many governmental agencies, energy sectors, and financial institutions were also affected as they continue to use Windows XP. These agencies included the U.S. Department of Defense, the IRS, power plants, and even bank ATMs.
“They’re going after the core critical infrastructure of the United States, so in the event of a war, they can take it down,” David Kennedy, CEO of security consulting firm TrustedSec told CNN. “The scary part is that the financial sector and energy are extremely vulnerable.”
Since the discovery of the bug, Microsoft has released a patch, even for its forsaken XP operating system; PC users are to get automatic update through their computers.
These recent incidents of security flaws expose the vulnerability of our increasing dependence on technology. In this day and age where our personal lives are becoming more and more digital, we should stay vigilant by not only staying informed of these potential risks, but also by taking necessary steps to safeguard one’s identity.