Heartbleed – why you should be really worried

If you’re not already familiar with the heartbleed bug, have a look at this website:¬†http://heartbleed.com/ – I don’t want to talk about what it is exactly as lots of people have done that.. just why you should be more worried than you are.

If you were (or still are?!) running an affected version of openssl:

  1. You almost certainly have NO way of telling whether someone attacked your server
  2. You may have been attacked through any service using SSL.
  3. All passwords & usernames, root or otherwise may have been logged by a remote attacker. These can be used unless changed
  4. All keys public and private, SSH, SSL or otherwise may have been logged.
  5. If your server was attacked you should consider ALL the contents of the servers hard disk revealed to the attacker.
  6. Even the memory of the server may have been compromised… this could be things like credit card details and other stuff you wouldn’t dream of storing un-encrypted anywhere.
  7. Your server may have been compromised ‘quietly’, you probably have no way of knowing this unless you run an IDS or something similar.

The worst bit is, you almost certainly won’t know if this stuff has happened. I’m not a fear monger, but this really is very, very bad.

If you’re just a person that used a website or service that used/uses an affected version of openssl:

Anything you did with that service is essentially in the hands of an attacker. For example, your usernames and passwords, your credit card information, your emails, your uploaded dropbox photos and work documents.

All in all, if you’ve used the Internet in the last two years, there’s a chance that your data has been stolen and you won’t know until it’s too late.

The only small amount of good news is that hopefully nobody has been exploiting this vulnerability. Hope is never a good security measure.

My biggest concern with the whole thing is not that my server or gmail might get attacked in the future, but that it may have been attacked without my knowing in the past. There’s not much anyone can do about this. Personal data may well have been taken – this is something you can’t fix.

For now, update your passwords, keys, revoke your old SSL certificates. Lock down your servers, secure your firewalls, set up IDS. Nuke your server and start again? Hope nobody really did anything too nasty. This bug may prove much worse than first thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *