Heartbleed on the Loose: Why is it Such a Threat and Who is Affected?

By Prarthito

If you are just tuning in to the web for all your news and Facebook activities for the day, you might be better off knowing that your page, alongside a million other accounts, is under serious threat from something they are calling as the Heartbleed. And horribly enough, it actually lives up to its name.

This new encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called as one of the biggest and most massive security threats the Internet has ever seen.

Heartbleed on the Loose: Why is it Such a Threat and Who is Affected?


The bug has already affected a number of popular websites and related services - and few of them are the ones who end up using almost everyday, like Gmail and Facebook - and may have already giveen out your personal and sensitive account information in the past couple of years. Also note that these information include credit card numbers and passwords.

As a matter of fact, Heartbleed has the potential to be one of the biggest and most widespread vulnerabilities if there ever was one in the history of the modern day web. And the problem that's in the core of all these vulnerabilites is quite technical.

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And although users may not even have the slightest of hint of what actually is going behind their backs, but the truth of the matter points toward a single conclusion - it's there, it's massive and it's not something to be taken lightly.

However, it hasn't always been clear as to which are the websites or services the bug is hitting. Mashable recently reached out to a host of companies and put them on a long list of websites that could have the flaw. Now there is a list showing all the responses from few of those companies -- The list includes most frequented sites, banking portals and more.


For example, taking into account the most popular social networking site on the planet Facebook, it was revealed that while it is still uncler whether it is affected or not, but there is a patch to fix the situation. However, it's better to change your account password right now.

"We added protections for Facebook's implementation of OpenSSL before this issue was publicly disclosed. We haven't detected any signs of suspicious account activity, but we encourage people to ... set up a unique password," Facebook stated on the matter.

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Same is the issue with Twitter as of now, and while the list says that it's unclear as to what's happening with the service, it's better that you change your password.

Interestingly, other companies put down in the list include the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google. However, Google has come ahead and announced that "We have assessed the SSL vulnerability and applied patches to key Google services."

Other services currently affected include Yahoo, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Amazon Web Services, although the likes of Microsoft, PayPal, Amazon and Hotmail have been given a green light.

To learn more about the list of websites and services under threat, head over here.

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