The Heartbleed Bug: Are you at risk?

by Dave Piscitello on April 9, 2014

Researchers have uncovered a vulnerability in OpenSSL, a software that provides secure (encrypted) communications for electronic commerce, banking, and secure remote access (SSL VPN). This vulnerability has been termed the Heartbleed Bug. An attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability can read data from the memory of an attacked server. If the attacker is able to obtain the server’s private encryption keys from server memory, the vulnerability would allow attackers to decrypt and eavesdrop secure transactions or communications.

OpenSSL is extremely popular and used by an estimated 1/2 million web sites to encrypt their data.

ICANN is aware of the Heartbleed Bug. While the vulnerability does not affect the DNS, ICANN’s Security Team is urging top level domain registries, registrars (and their resellers) who provide e-merchant services for domain registration and other online services who use OpenSSL to upgrade to OpenSSL 1.0.1g, a version of OpenSSL that mitigates the threat from the Heartbleed Bug.

Organizations that use SSL-based Virtual Private Networks for secure application access should also take measures to mitigate this threat.

If you are looking for additional information on the Heartbleed Bug I would recommend the following three pieces:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jacob Nicholson 04.10.14 at 6:52 pm

It’s worth noting that only OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 – 1.0.1f were vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, as that version branch introduced the heartbeat feature that was found to be exploitable.

Website owners can easily throw a phpinfo() function in a PHP script and search for OpenSSL to see what version their server is running, and if they need to worry about patching this bug.

Even if it shows a vulnerable version, contact your web host as more than likely it has been patched by now. You can check for the patch if you have root access with:

rpm -q openssl && rpm -q –changelog openssl | head -10

Then just make sure you see fix CVE-2014-0160 listed in the OpenSSL changelog.

Anyone can read more about this and ask for help in my check for OpenSSL Heartbleed bug guide.

– Jacob

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