Computer Virus Threatens Online Information


"It's like leaving your house with the doorlock broken.  You know, can someone break in?  Yes.  Will they break in? You don't know  did they break in?  You don't have any way of knowing."

-Bob Adams, Computer Logic 

A new computer virus attacking some websites beginning with HTTPS, may be jeopardizing your online security. The virus is nicknamed "Heartbleed" and it even has the U.S. Department of Homeland Security searching for a solution.

Google researchers discovered the virus on Tuesday and some say it's making history.

Websites beginning with HTTPS use open SSL encryption, which means they have added security to protect your personal information such as usernames, passwords and even credit card information.

Bob Adams, Computer Logic employee says, "the Heartbleed is really a vulnerability. Vulnerability means, hackers have figured out how to exploit something."

What makes this virus different from the others is that it attacks the code designed to keep websites safe. Not to mention, it's undetectable, which is unlike any other virus in history.

"It's like leaving your house with the doorlock broken. You know, can someone break in? Yes. Will they break in? You don't know did they break in? You don't have any way of knowing."

Yahoo! is the only known popular social networking website to date that had a problem with the heartbleed virus, but addressed the issue as soon as they found it.

Adams says, "they have since fixed their site and their affiliated sites like Tumblr and Flickr, but we have no way of knowing if somebody got in and got information there."

Changing your password won't help keep your information safe either.

In fact, there's nothing a web user can do about it; It's up to the website's administrator to solve the problem.

"All people can do is try to pay attention to what's going on activity-wise on their accounts."

And if you're wondering if your online information has been safe over the past two years, you can find out if a website uses the open SSL encryption at DigiCert.com.

Because the Heartbleed bug is now publicly known, website administrators can begin to address the issue immediately.
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Follow Tony Cedrone on Twitter @tony_p_said


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