Heartbleed computer bug: What you need to know - WSPA.com

Heartbleed computer bug: What you need to know

Posted: Updated:
Security researchers have uncovered a fatal flaw in a key safety feature for surfing the Web -- the one that keeps your email, banking, shopping, passwords and communications private.

It's called the Heartbleed bug, and it is essentially an information leak.

It starts with a hole in the software that the vast majority of websites on the Internet use to turn your personal information into strings of random numbers and letters. If you see a padlock image in the address bar, there's a good chance that site is using the encryption software that was impacted by the Heartbleed bug.

For more than two years now, Heartbleed has allowed outsiders to peek into the personal information that was supposed to be protected from snoopers. It exposes your usernames and passwords. It also compromises the session keys that keep you logged into a website, allowing an outsider to pose as you -- no passwords required. And it allows attackers to pose as a real website and dupe you into giving up your personal details.

Making matters worse, the Heartbleed bug leaves no traces -- you may never know when or if you've been hacked.

What can you do? Log out of all websites: email, social media, banking -- everything. But beyond that, it's a waiting game. The websites themselves need to update to a new version of the encryption software to fix the bug. That's why changing all your passwords right away isn't a good idea. Websites are all racing to fix the issue, and if you act too quickly, you might change your password on a site that is still vulnerable.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.