Wednesday, April 09, 2014 8:46 AM EST
The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL, which recently came to light and impacts encryption for various Web servers, Web browsers, operating systems, and many other software applications. According to The Heartbleed Bug website:
“The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).
The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.”
We highly recommend users and administrators install updates and patches to all software including, but not limited to Web browsers and operating systems, as soon as possible. Additionally, for users still using Windows XP, we recommend upgrading to the newest, most secure version of Windows (Windows 8.1).
To learn more about Heartbleed, visit The Heartbleed Bug website.