Opinion/Editorial: Enhancing computer security | Editorial

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Industry experts and researchers created patches that addressed the problem. UVa’s Ashish Venkat, an assistant professor of computer science, was among the researchers working on those patches.

More recently, though, Venkat and his team from the school’s engineering department found a flaw in the fixes that could allow hackers to break through those defenses and steal information. The flaw affected all patches, including those Venkat helped create.

The average consumer doesn’t really have to worry about this particular flaw.

“Information that’s important, like military information, is something hackers will be willing to go to greater lengths to target…,” said Logan Moody, a member of the research team. “But they’re not going to be targeting your grandma” — at least, not yet.

Most consumers just need to do the things they already know they should do — being careful about what they download, constructing strong passwords, that sort of thing.

But it’s reassuring that experts are concentrating on the bigger problems — thefts of military information, for example.

No single defense will fully prevent cybercrimes and espionage, but every improvement makes us a bit safer.