New Bugs Found in Software Causing 'Heartbleed' Cyber Threat

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By Naveena Joy | June 6, 2014 5:58 PM EST

The Heartbleed bug triggered the Internet with threat and panic two months back. A security researcher has found a new bug in the same Web encryption software.

Researcher Masashi Kikuchi wrote in a blog post he found another bug in OpenSSL, the encryption tool used in two-thirds of all Web sites to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information like passwords or credit card data.

Reuters reported the new bug was disclosed as the group responsible for developing the software released an OpenSSL update that contains seven security fixes. It somehow allowed hackers to interfere or even changed the content of emails or Web traffic.

The experts involved asked the Web sites and technology firms that use the OpenSSL technology to install an update on all the systems as soon as possible. This will be a lengthy process hence it could take time to update as companies need to first test systems to ensure they are compatible with such updates.

The new bug is much more difficult to exploit for hackers that the Heartbleed as it requires them to interrupt traffic between two computers. Also, this vulnerability is only found on some older versions of the OpenSSL software.

Reuters highlighted OpenSSL technology is used on about two-thirds of all Web sites, including those run by Amazon.com, Facebook, Google and Yahoo. It is also incorporated into thousands of technology products from companies, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel Corp and Oracle.

Huffington.com pointed out OpenSSL software is written and maintained largely by four people from Europe along with few contributors. Most of them have full-time jobs, maintaining the code is only during spare time.

The programmers as a team earned less than $1 million last year for their work on OpenSSL from contractual work and charity. The programmers don't go through each and every line of code for flaws and also can't afford to pay for a formal code review.

The response to the Heartbleed bug was so high that several big technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft have joined hands in providing financial support to OpenSSL to engage experts who can work full-time in reviewing the codes.

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