Tech giants address Heartbleed OpenSSL flaw
10 April 2014 | 0
The Heartbleed Internet security vulnerability continues to rock the Internet this week, though not all websites have been affected.
Heartbleed is a bug in OpenSSL (secure sockets layer), a tool for securing Web connections, that could let attackers steal data from server memory 64Kb at a time. It could be automatically run multiple times without leaving any evidence, potentially collecting user names and passwords as well as encryption keys and certificates for decrypting private data, researchers say.
Twitter users, at least, can take some comfort as the social network declared itself in the clear on Tuesday afternoon, posting a brief statement on its Status page.
“On 4/7/2014 we were made aware of a critical vulnerability in OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160), the security library that is widely used across the internet and at Twitter,” the company wrote. “We were able to determine that twitter.com and api.twitter.com servers were not affected by this vulnerability. We are continuing to monitor the situation.”
Some other big Web names, including Yahoo, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, said they either are studying the problem or have fixed it on their sites. If they were vulnerable, they were not alone: Internet security company Netcraft estimates that about 500,000 sites had the bug. Late Wednesday, there did not appear to be any reports of exploits against the flaw.
Another piece of good news: No version of Android was affected, with the limited exception of Android 4.1.1, according to Google.
If Twitter’s servers weren’t affected by Heartbleed, its subscribers don’t need to take the extra few minutes to change their Twitter passwords as they go through updating their other accounts in the wake of the disclosure, said Lamar Bailey, director of security research for security vendor Tripwire. Twitter might have dodged the bullet by running a different version of SSL or by turning off the vulnerable feature in OpenSSL, he said.