Some experts blame the new threat on shoddy programming. "In a properly coded world, a graphic should not be able to infect your computer," says Graham Cluley, senior researcher with the UK-based anti-virus firm Sophos. "It should be impossible."
So far, no one is known to have exploited the flaw and Cluley says it is far from certain anyone will develop a computer virus based on it. But code designed to exploit the bug could appear on the internet soon, and this is often the first step towards the creation of a hacking tool or virus based on the flaw.