Two whole years! That is how long it took experts to uncover what may be the biggest security flaw to ever affect the internet. It’s big. It’s bad. It’s out there. Worst of all is that you have probably already been a victim.
Dubbed the “Heartbleed bug“, it is actually a security flaw in the software that most internet sites use to protect your personal and sensitive information. By utilizing this security hole, hackers have the ability to access the information you thought was otherwise safe.
How bad is the breach? According to an article posted on CNN Money, about 81% of web sites rely on server software that is vulnerable to Heartbleed. How likely is it that your information may have been compromised? If you are using Google or Amazon or just about any of the major web destinations, you have been exposed.
So what can you do? Well, the scary answer is right now, not much. The sites themselves have to apply the fix to their servers. Until they do, you can change passwords all you want – the new ones will be just as vulnerable. CNN is reporting that Amazon, Google, and Yahoo! have already patched their software. But how many other sites have yet to do so? The best advice right now seems to be fairly simply, though not foolproof. Log off those internet sites when you are done searching or shopping or whatever it is you may be doing.
This is a mess that has been two years in the making and that could very well haunt the internet for years to come.