The Heartbleed bug was brought to light earlier last week and it has since sent shockwaves across the entire online community. Whilst many myths have been dismissed over the last few days with regards to the potential consequences of Heartbleed, there are still many people who are at risk of the personal data-stealing bug. It was well documented that search giants including Google and Yahoo were affected, although both companies have since fixed the issue. However, this doesn’t mean people aren’t still at risk, so what exactly is it that we should be aware of?
After Google managed to pounce on the issue and create a fix that would prevent the OpenSSL-based bug from spreading to their customers, they emphasised the fact that they weren’t yet out of the woods, with Android users particularly vulnerable. Google revealed last week that anyone still running an older version of Android could be under threat despite the fix, which was alarming for users of older devices that can’t run newer versions of the software.
It was revealed last week that an OpenSSL feature named “heartbeat” had been compromised. The built-in feature is used to send data between a device and a website so that the source of the online content can be confirmed as secure. However, hackers have managed to infiltrate recycled data through older versions of OpenSSL and potentially access login passwords and other personal data.
There are plenty of apps that still need fixing on the Android market, which are all still capable of putting Android owners and their sensitive data at risk. BBM, Blackberry’s incredibly popular messaging app, is one of many pieces of software that still require addressing, both for the Android and iOS.
Despite the obvious cause for panic, there are actually plenty of reasons not to go over the top with Heartbleed. Firstly, it’s understood that the chances of hackers accessing personal information in this way are very slim. In addition, you can protect yourself by simply changing your passwords. Despite this, it’s important to remain aware of the applications that haven’t yet been fixed, as this could still be the easiest route for hackers to take.
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