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Heart Bleed OpenSSL Computer Virus Update: Security Bug Found by Google Exposes Internet Data

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First Posted: Apr 10, 2014 09:56 AM EDT
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Web users, beware. There's a new security bug that has been discovered and is described to be "one of the greatest threats to ever surface the World Wide Web," according to The Clock Online.

The bug, nicknamed "Heart Bleed," was discovered on Monday by Google and Codenomicon engineers, but has allegedly been around the Internet for about two years now.

Heart Bleed poses a huge threat to consumers as it compromises sensitive personal consumer information and its attackers are untraceable.

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So if you're buying something online and enter something as significant as your credit card number or if you are applying for a job online and enter personal information such as your address and social security number, Heart Bleed can gain access to all of that information.

So how exactly does Heart Bleed Work?

Well, it begins with the popular encryption software known as OpenSSL. OpenSSL is used all over the Internet pipeline to ensure user information is secured and encrypted. However, with the current hack in OpenSSL's system, sensitive user information is no longer safe and is now available for hackers and prying eyes.

"Most of the web is believed to be affected by the bug, although no one is certain how widespread attacks might have been over the last two years. At the time of the discovery, Yahoo.com was the only major Internet company to be affected by 'Heart Bleed,' says The Clock Online. "According to a Netcraft web survey, over 66 percent of websites online are believed to be affected by the exploit."

Websites that have not been affected include Google, Facebook, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service site.

"The IRS advises taxpayers to continue filing their tax returns as they normally would in advance of the April 15 deadline," the agency said in a statement.

Though these particular websites have not been harmed by Heart Bleed, they all advise users to take extra precaution and change their passwords as engineers and researchers continue to fix the massive problem.

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