Small computer programs designed to disrupt or alter the normal operations of a computer are widely spread in the web nowadays. These programs or codes are called computer viruses which post a great concern to internet or computer users. This type of viruses can be loaded without the knowledge of the user and are capable of bypassing the security system of the computer.
Recently, a new type of virus has been discovered and considered as one of the greatest threats to ever surface in the web. The virus has been allegedly present for about two years now. It can immensely compromise the personal data of the consumers because it can access the security freely.
History of Heartbleed Computer Virus
Two years ago the so-called Heartbleed bug was introduced into the encryption software by the US Intelligence Agencies. It was used to protect the internet transactions and websites of the spy agency. But it was just lately when they discovered that this bug can result to one of the most serious internet security flaws that have ever existed.
The virus places any consumer to a high level of vulnerability by obtaining passwords and basic information thru hacking maneuver.
The detection of the said virus urges the consumers to alter their passwords to ensure the security of their files for no one is safe from the attack of this untraceable software virus.
How Does It Work?
Open-source encryption standard or OpenSSL is utilized by consumers to basically acquire a secure line when transmitting files to the internet and corporate networks. It makes the data appear unnecessary especially to those potential hackers. But due to a programming error, the researchers were able to discover the possibility of sending a code to hoax the receiving computer to send data from its memory. It was called the Heartbleed Computer Virus.
The virus works by hacking operations and stealing digital certificates and encryption keys or the codes that make files unreadable. It then turns these encryptions into readable data. This process can acquire any personal data including usernames, passwords, financial information and even contents uploaded by the users to any vulnerable servers without even establishing a secure connection. If this virus would be left unattended it will cause a huge dilemma to the consumer.
Protection from the Virus
The virus has been undetected in the OpenSSL site for about two years now, making every consumer’s accounts compromised. There is a big probability that hackers have already stolen some keys and certificates or they have been spying some servers since then. Because of these realizations, users are encouraged to change their passwords especially for those services that require greater security and confidentiality. The consumers are also expected to contact their host servers if they suspect vulnerability from the virus to ensure that it will be patched up immediately.
If you are running your own server, you should patch it immediately by using a patched version of the OpenSSL. Consumers are also advised to change their SSL certificates from their site.
On the other hand, the major service providers are also doing their part to tackle the issue since most of them rely on OpenSSL to encrypt data. Technology companies are trying their best to identify the vulnerable OpenSSL codes. They are also updating their sites to lessen the problem that might be caused by the virus. Regular updates are released by certain companies to warn consumers about the probable risks of the virus.
Heartbleed Computer Virus is a serious problem thus consumers and servers should work hand and hand to solve it. Exploitation of this virus for personal gains should not be considered.