Openssl Flaw Causing Virtual Panic


Somebody found a flaw in the OpenSSL encryption program and created the Heartbleed bug. This bug has made people in the virtual world very worried. What is the Heartbleed bug? This bug is a computer virus that allows anybody to read the contents of a virtual system that is intended to be protected by OpenSSL. A person can get the passwords to the system as well the passwords of people who use the system. The hacker could elect to observe or to steal data from the system. The intruder could choose also to pretend to be one of the users.

An Internet security company called Codenomicon was the discoverer of this nefarious bug. The bug is making Bitcoin and virtual users very nervous.

Bitcoin is supposed to be the currency of the future. Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is created in the virtual world by a computer. A computer makes a series of calculations that result in the birth of one of these virtual coins. A person can use this virtual coin to purchase something in the real world or he can put it in a virtual bank called a Bitcoin exchange. Bitcoin exchanges are very worried about the Heartbleed bug.

In the last twelve hours, Bitstamp, a Bitcoin exchange, has announced to the virtual world through Twitter that they have turned off registration, log ins and withdrawals. They will not do business until they are no longer vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug

To its customers, Bitstamp said that they made patches to their system after discovering their OpenSSL vulnerabilities. They are working with a DDOS mitigation provider to patch their system.

Bitfinex, another Bitcoin exchange, broadcast through Twitter that they, too, are stopping withdrawals from their virtual bank. They plan to stop for the next 10 hours. They also want their customers to change their passwords and profiles so they won’t be vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.

Reddit, a social networking website, could be vulnerable to this bug. BTC-e, BTC China, Bitcurex and Cryptsy are also websites that should be concerned about this bug.

There are about 117,000 Internet servers that could be attacked by this computer virus. This does not include mail servers.

There are a couple of reasons that this is a major deal for Internet users. Some people in the virtual world already knew about the OpenSSL vulnerability two years ago, but did not tell the rest of the Internet. Nobody is certain what the virus is fully capable of doing. What they do know scares them and they are keen to stop it from doing damage to the Internet.

One scary thing about this virus is the fact that it leaves no traces in the logs of a system or a computer. Security experts believe that Internet companies could find ways to see if the bug has stolen data from their systems. Tech firms could find traces of the bug in their logs if they looked hard enough.

The Heartbleed bug exploits a flaw in the OpenSSL encryption program and causing some panic in the virtual world.  Security experts are rushing to solve this bug.

By Tom Clark

Search Security
The Age

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