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So once the malicious actor gains access to your machine, he can run a ton of stuff, normally with the assist of privilege escalation exploits (gives actor root/admin privileges). Imagine how much damage can be done with this.
Complete RCE exploits seldom appear, and most are patched rather quickly, since it's a quite serious vulnerability. Though, I'd bet that law enforcement agencies like NSA should've bought quite a few under the table. So we should always better be safe than sorry.