If you’ve been paying attention to the media lately, you’ve probably heard a lot about the Heartbleed Bug, but there’s a good chance that you haven’t actually learned a whole lot about it that makes sense. Media outlets tend to report in a way that is more confusing than anything. If you have an account on any social media or major website, you need to be aware of what the Heartbleed Bug affects as well as what precautions you can take against it.
What is the Heartbleed Bug?
This is a programming error that allows hackers to easily get past the OpenSSL Certificates that Internet pages use to keep information encrypted and safe. Basically, it allows people to easily steal usernames and passwords, thereby getting any and all information that they want. They can also pose as the company, sending out email under the company name and asking you to do things like change your password or other information. It’s important that you’re diligent in paying attention to what comes through your email. Don’t trust anything that isn’t directly on the website.
What information is being leaked as a result of the Heartbleed Bug?
First and foremost, encryption keys are being leaked. These are what makes the Heartbleed Bug so dangerous. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if people weren’t able to impersonate websites themselves. Usernames, passwords, content, and details are also being leaked. Obviously this is an issue for many websites. Some use a different kind of certificate and are protected and some have already started patching and using an upgraded version of OpenSSL that isn’t vulnerable; however, some websites are still vulnerable and you should be aware of this. For a list of websites and their current status in regards to the Heartbleed Bug, you can visit this website
How can I protect myself and my information?
Currently, changing your password is pretty useless in the whole scheme of things. Since the Heartbleed Bug hasn’t been entirely patched yet, your new password could easily be grabbed by the bug. Your best bet is to be careful about what information you put out on the Internet and take down anything you don’t want seen (i.e. credit card numbers, etc). If you’re going to change your password, change it to something strong using a combination of capital and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
You can’t protect yourself from everything that goes wrong with the Internet, but you can protect yourself from some things. Employing strong security measures will help protect you from things like viruses, malware, and spyware. Make sure you know how to protect your computer and your information.
DHA Group, Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., is an award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal civilian and defense agencies, such as the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Army; the Defense Logistics Agency; and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. DHA Group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services, including program management, procurement and acquisition support, project and budget management, information assurance and cyber-security, information technology modernization and sustainment, data integration and information sharing, eDiscovery, systems engineering and business process reengineering. Since DHA Group’s 1994 founding, our ability to improve productivity, cost effectiveness and efficiency has contributed to significant corporate growth and earned us a reputation for quality, value and excellence. For more information about The Heartbleed Bug, please visit us at www.dha-inc.com or call 202-347-9865, or join the conversation on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.