A group of security researchers uncovered a major vulnerability in the encryption technology used by millions of websites.Heartbleed is a security flaw discovered by security firm Codenomicon and members of Google Security. It’s found in OpenSSL, which is used to protect sensitive data such as e-mails, passwords or credit card data.Here are three key questions about the vulnerability: 1. What is Heartbleed?It’s a major bug that affects the technology used to encrypt sensitive information. Ever log in to e-mail or your banking account and notice the “HTTPS” and green lock? That’s SSL/TLS, and OpenSSL is among the most popular variants of it.Heartbleed is a leak in that system that lets anyone read the memory of servers running OpenSSL. “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,” reads a statement from a Heartbleed website set up by Codenomicon to explain the bug. “This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.”Codenomicon says it’s not clear whether the vulnerability has been abused, but since Heartbleed has been exploitable for a long… Read full this story
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