This cyber attack could wipe out the internet. Here's why

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Dec 23, 2021, 10:02 AM IST

Representative Image. Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

The 'worst-ever' Internet security flaw may be 'apocalyptic' for the computer sector, putting everything from NASA helicopters to Amazon and Google at risk. 

A new "apocalyptic" cyberattack has the potential to wipe out the Internet, putting NASA, televisions, and Minecraft in jeopardy.

Everything from NASA helicopters to Amazon and Google is now vulnerable to a sophisticated hacking attack, making the 'worst-ever' Internet security flaw 'apocalyptic' for the computer industry.

The "worst-ever" Internet security vulnerability has been found, with consequences for Amazon, NASA, Minecraft, and smart TVs. 

The flaw, which may allow hackers to take control of nearly everything on the Internet, has apparently made IT giants nervous.

According to the Seattle Times, employees at Silicon Valley corporations have been working all-nighters to guarantee their code is secure.

Also read | What is Log4j, the biggest computer vulnerability in decades?

According to a Google employee, more than 500 engineers have been working overtime to guarantee that their software is up to date.

The security hole known as log4j, according to Jen Easterly, the US Cybersecurity Director, is "the most significant vulnerability I have seen in my decades-long career." 

Log4j is a piece of code that powers vast portions of the Internet.

This assists various software in logging and tracking past activity.

Also read | Software flaw 'Log4Shell' may be worst computer vulnerability in a decade

Cybersecurity specialists have discovered that all hackers need to do is make the application log a line of malicious code, and the programme will execute it, giving them complete control of entire servers.

Log4j is a big concern because it is one of the most extensively used pieces of code on the Internet. 

It's a component of the Java programming language, which is used in almost all software.

Importantly, online behemoths like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle are affected, putting every other website or corporation that relies on their services at risk.

This includes Minecraft, most smart TVs, and even NASA's Ingenuity Mars chopper.

According to reports, the weakness has existed for years, and Iranian-backed hackers have attempted to use it to get into the Israeli government.

The US government has set a deadline for correcting the problem for Christmas Eve, but even if it is fixed in time, hackers may have already obtained access to thousands of apps and services. 

(With inputs from agencies)