The bug that nearly ate the Internet

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The bug that nearly ate the InternetBang a nail in to fix a loose floorboard and, like as not, you puncture a gas pipe. So it is with technology. While researchers were busy sorting out a Transition Control Protocol (TCP) problem, they inadvertently gave cyber criminals the opportunity to cause connection termination and perform data injection attacks across almost the entire Internet. You see, the patch required a counter feature which would be used to identify suspicious data transactions – but this very counter also enabled hackers to project secure transactions, mimic these and inject their own content.

Essentially, the patch they created turned out to be a bug which left over 95% of the world’s top websites vulnerable. It has since been (re-)patched, but this incident serves as a warning to developers – sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.