A few days ago, the entire cadre of internet security experts got into a chaos mode. It was an all new frenzy, a disaster had happened on the internet, which is now being termed as the biggest ever in modern internet’s history. What is heartbleed ? How does it affect you ? We’ll answer some of those FAQs here :
What is Heartbleed bug ?
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).
Fow how long has it been there ?
As per the FirstPost reports this security hole exists on a vast number of the Internet’s Web servers and went undetected for more than two years. While it’s conceivable that the flaw was never discovered by hackers, it’s nearly impossible to tell.
How did it get detected ?
CODENOMICON, in its blog mentions that it attacked its own servers from an attackers perspective and foun out that this bug left no traces at all ! In its blog, Codenomicon mentions, “We have tested some of our own services from attacker’s perspective. We attacked ourselves from outside, without leaving a trace. Without using any privileged information or credentials we were able steal from ourselves the secret keys used for our X.509 certificates, user names and passwords, instant messages, emails and business critical documents and communication“.
How do we stop it ?
Well, security experts are on it. Since this is a bug in the OpenSSL, a newer version, the Fixed SSL needs to be released.
Codenomicon mentions, “As long as the vulnerable version of OpenSSL is in use it can be abused. Fixed OpenSSL has been released and now it has to be deployed. Operating system vendors and distribution, appliance vendors, independent software vendors have to adopt the fix and notify their users“.
It further noted, “Service providers and users have to install the fix as it becomes available for the operating systems, networked appliances and software they use.”