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What Heartbleed can teach businesses about information security

29/04/2014 by


There can be very few comparisons between historically global IT security incidents and vulnerabilities that come anywhere near to the shadowy, anxiety-provoking spotlight that is now shining firmly on the arena of information security. The impact of the OpenSSL bug known as Heartbleed – made became public on the 7th April 2014 and officially documented as bug CVE-2014-0160 – has reached far and wide since it went public on 7th April 2014. One of the most fundamental backbones of security on the Internet has been dealt a severe confidence blow.

Trusting the Internet

Due to this crucial transport layer vulnerability that causes memory content to leak when exploited, an insurmountable amount of private keys have been exposed. While IT security teams worldwide scramble to analyse their systems and patch this bug by upgrading to OpenSSL 1.0.1g or higher, the true impact of the potential risks from retrospective exploitation that Heartbleed has presented may never fully be realised.

Confirmation of documented exploitation of the Heartbleed bug has already been made public, and even though only 64 kilobytes of data can be gained at a time, there is a very real risk that secure data can – and indeed has in many cases – been compromised.

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