The getaddrinfo Vulnerability that Has Everyone Freaking Out Explained

By now you have probably heard about the enormous security flaw that was recently discovered that, experts say, left thousands of applications and devices vulnerable to remote attacks and control. It is a flaw that has been around since 2009, and has the potential to affect any server that is running any post-2008 version of the Gnu C open source library called glibc. It is the function getaddrinfo() within the glibc library that has the flaw, and it is so widely distributed that it is impossible to estimate just how many applications and hardware installs are running the flawed versions (of which there are at least 7 main version and dozens of incremental update versions).