Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 25, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!








Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Heartbleed Bug Has Been Around for 2 Years, Affects Two-Thirds of the Internet

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Apr 8, 2014

A critical flaw that has been with us for some time and could be around for months to come leaves much of the Internet vulnerable.

Called Heartbleed, the bug affects OpenSSL, a back-end encryption standard that is used by as many as two-thirds of servers connected to the Internet, including many owned by Yahoo.

It was discovered by a Google researcher and could theoretically allow attackers to steal a server’s private encryption keys and intercept traffic.

Although a patch already exists, The Verge reports that vulnerabilities could persist for some time:

For most privacy tools relying on OpenSSL, the takeaway is catastrophic. A blog post from the Tor Project told users, “if you need strong anonymity or privacy on the internet, you might want to stay away from the internet entirely for the next few days while things settle.” In many cases, a few days may not be enough. It will give services time to patch their servers, but if any private keys were compromised before the patch went up, it would give attackers free rein in the months to come. Servers can reset their certificates, but it’s slow and expensive, and experts suspect many of them may simply assume the patch is enough. “I bet that there will be a lot of vulnerable servers a year from now,” [ICSI security researcher Nicholas] Weaver says. “This won’t get fixed.”

Apple, Google and Microsoft appear to be unaffected, along with the major e-banking services. Yahoo, on the other hand, was affected and leaking user credentials for a significant portion of the day. (A Yahoo representative tells The Verge the core sites are now patched, although the team is still working to implement the fix across the rest of the site.) More generally, any server running OpenSSL on Apache or Nginx will be affected, which implicates a huge variety of everyday websites and services.

You can read much more about Heartbleed here.

Stay safe.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook