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Latest OpenSSL bug ‘may be more dangerous than Heartbleed’

6/06/2014 by


Researcher claims that newly uncovered weakness could be used to directly spy on people’s communications.

More critical weaknesses have been uncovered in the OpenSSL web encryption standard, just two months after the disclosure of the notorious Heartbleed vulnerability affecting the same technology.

Tatsuya Hayashi, the researcher who found one of the critical bugs, told the Guardian that the latest flaw “may be more dangerous than Heartbleed” as it could be used to directly spy on people’s communications.

Heartbleed was deemed to be one of the most critical internet vulnerabilities ever when it was uncovered in April. OpenSSL is supposed to protect people’s data with digital keys but has been exposed as flawed numerous times in recent months.

The latest vulnerability was introduced in 1998 and has been missed by both paid and volunteer developers working on the open-source project for 16 years.

Meanwhile, one of the other severe vulnerabilities in OpenSSL detailed this week was introduced by the same man responsible for the Heartbleed flaw, researchers said.

Using the vulnerability found by Hayashi, attackers sitting on the same network as a target, such as on the same public Wi-Fi network, could force weak encryption keys on connections between victims’ PCs and web servers.

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