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Heartbleed Bug
Apr 16, 2014

The Heart Bleed virus has been affecting millions of websites on the Internet for two years, but there are ways of protection from the bug. Though users don’t have much power over the Heart Bleed virus—website administrators and creators have to update their Open SSL software — there are ways to defend important passwords.

The Heart Bleed virus allows hackers to exploit a flaw in the Open SSL encryption software used by a majority of major websites to steal data like credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal information. The first defence for Internet users, then, is to change your passwords to protect your information from being taken and abused.

It starts with a hole in the software that the vast majority of websites on the Internet use to turn your personal information into strings of random numbers and letters. If you see a padlock image in the address bar, there's a good chance that site is using the encryption software that was impacted by the Heartbleed bug.

Heartbleed virus exposes your usernames and passwords. It also compromises the session keys that keep you logged into a website, allowing an outsider to pose as you—no passwords required. And it allows attackers to pose as a real website and dupe you into giving up your personal details. The Heartbleed virus leaves no traces—you may never know when or if you've been hacked.

This flaw is undetectable by current standards and has existed under the radar for about two years. The flaw was discovered by security firm Codenomicon and Neel Mehta, a Google security researcher. They said that even if you don’t frequently use the internet, you are most likely affected by the bug. You are likely to be affected either directly or indirectly. Open SSL is the most popular open source cryptographic library and TLS (transport layer security) implementation used to encrypt traffic on the Internet.

That's why Heartbleed virus is being dubbed the biggest exploit of the last 12 years. 

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