The Heartbleed OpenSSL computer bug has been in the news extensively over the past week. Many people are surprised to find out that it’s not a new threat. In fact, it was first reported about two years ago.
Nonetheless, Heartbleed received international attention mostly because it recently threatened login profiles on some notable websites, including Gmail, Yahoo and Facebook. Some reports indicated that up to 60 percent of websites worldwide may have been affected.
As many of you are aware, Buzzquake Marketing regularly monitors numerous customers’ websites for uptime and security risks as part of our optional maintenance and security services. Fortunately, only one site we monitor was affected, and it was with a very minimal impact. We were able to easily fix the problem and bring the site up to date with security definitions.
If we don’t monitor your site, we sincerely hope you haven’t lost any data or service as a result of vulnerabilities caused by Heart Bleed and other threats.
Change your passwords
The best advice is to change your passwords if there is any doubt about the status of your login credentials on any website (your own or others where you have accounts established).
Speaking of passwords, we highly recommend that you use LastPass to track your passwords. The everyday utility that LastPass affords users is reason enough to sign up for the free service, but when something like Heartbleed hits, LastPass can be your best friend. It quickly and easily allows you to assess the vulnerability of all of the sites for which it tracks passwords and identifies in priority order those where you should make password changes.
Just having a list of sites where you have created a password is valuable. As it turns out, I learned from LastPass this week that I had 137 sites with passwords. I was shocked that the number had grown so large.