The “Heartbleed” bug, known for it’s encryption of pings sent between use and website, has introduced a new threat to the world of cyber-security. The bug will best be recognized by the small lock image in front of the URL on websites which protects users information such as passwords, usernames and even social security numbers. This new bug has the ability, not only to hack this connection, but to do so unnoticed. David Chartier, executive at Codenomicon stated that, “bad guys can access the memory on a machine and take encryption keys, usernames, passwords, valuable intellectual property, and there’s no trace they’ve been there.” Major websites such as Facebook and PayPal have already said to have fixed the bug and are now encouraging members to change passwords and proceed with caution. The security team at Yahoo suggested: “This might be a good day to call in sick and take some time to change your passwords everywhere — especially your high-security services like email, file storage and banking, which may have been compromised by this bug.”
I find this to be a good example of the real threat of cyber-attacks and hacking. In an article posted last week, it was mentioned that governments are starting to place a larger importance on detecting and combatting cyber-attacks, predicting that they will become more prevalent, and serious, in the very near future. I believe that this bug is a perfect illustration of how dangerous hacking and other security threats online can be. It is so important for us, as members of such a technology-enriched world, to be aware of these issues and take the appropriate security measures to keep our information safe.