How cut-and-pasted programming is putting the internet and society at risk | John Naughton

A vulnerability has been exposed in Minecraft, the bestselling video game of all time – and the security implications outside the world of gaming are vast

In one of those delicious coincidences that warm the cockles of every tech columnist’s heart, in the same week that the entire internet community was scrambling to patch a glaring vulnerability that affects countless millions of web servers across the world, the UK government announced a grand new National Cyber Security Strategy that, even if actually implemented, would have been largely irrelevant to the crisis at hand.

Initially, it looked like a prank in the amazingly popular Minecraft game. If someone inserted an apparently meaningless string of characters into a conversation in the game’s chat, it would have the effect of taking over the server on which it was running and download some malware that could then have the capacity to do all kinds of nefarious things. Since Minecraft (now owned by Microsoft) is the best-selling video game of all time (more than 238m copies sold and 140 million monthly active users), this vulnerability was obviously worrying, but hey, it’s only a video game…

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from Data and computer security | The Guardian