Apr 11, 2014

News Alert: The Heartbleed Bug and your Sensitive Information

On Monday, April 7th, 2014, it was released that there was a bug called the Heartbleed Bug that was affecting the security of many websites.

As explained on the informational site:

"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." - heartbleed.com

So, should you be concerned if your website is hosted with iBec?

  1. No. iBec has reviewed its servers and they are not affected by the Heartbleed bug. This means your website is safe and sound.
  2. As a precautionary measure, we may be contacting our clients if they have an SSL certificate on their site to rekey their certificate.

What does this mean in general?

It is important to take a look at any websites where you may have stored personal information on and check if they are affected. If they are, it is a good idea to change your password after they update their site. These are any secure websites you have to log into or ones that you provided credit card or personal information for.

Here are three different ways to search which sites have been affected:

  1. Lastpass provides a Heartbleed Checker that allows you to individually enter a website you are concerned about and check it’s vulnerability,
  2. Mashable constructed a list of popular websites,
  3. Finally, Github.com provides a complete list of sites scanned.

As a best practice, it’s always a good idea to change your online passwords periodically and to keep up to date on any news regarding sensitive information. If you have accounts where you provide banking or credit information, make sure to always keep an eye on them and check for suspicious behavior.

That’s all we have for now!