Updated: 04/09/2014 11:47 PM
Created: 04/09/2014 11:07 PM WDIO.com
A huge gap in the security software used by some of the biggest Internet companies has been found. It has been dubbed the 'Heartbleed' bug, and because of it, the private information of millions was sitting exposed.
You may recognize the little padlock in the top left corner of some websites you visit. It is supposed to designate the site as secure, but for the last two years that has not been case.
"The people that wrote this software for this part of that network communication forgot to check a part of that message," Pete Willemsen explained, an associate professor in UMD's computer science department.
Think of it like this: when your computer connects to a server it sends out a ping known as a heartbeat to check for a secure connection. But with this hole in the code, a hacker could send out a secret heartbeat and retrieve any information that is still in memory — that is where the name "Heartbleed" comes from.
"So, that could include your user names and your passwords," said Mark Lanterman, CEO of computer analysis company Computer Forensic Services. "In our testing it returned my VPN credentials. This is very, very serious."
Experts are advising people to consider changing all their online passwords.
But changing passwords will not do any good until the services install the recently-released software to fix the problem.
"This vulnerability, or bug, is really unfortunate in the sense that it sits with software on the servers... on the machines that you typically would connect to," said Prof. Willemsen. "They are responsible for updating that software."
Lanterman adds that "Amazon, your banks, any server, 66 percent of the web servers on the Internet are vulnerable to this attack."
Cyber security firm LastPass has created a search engine to determine if a website you use may have been affected. Find it by clicking here.
Walker Says He Won't Make Another Jobs Promise
Gov. Scott Walker says he won't make another job-creation promise like he did four years ago. 103,000 private-sector jobs have been added during his first term, far less than the 250,000 he promised.
Turn Duluth Teal, Again!
An event to highlight awareness about ovarian cancer is coming up in Duluth, and it's in its second year.
More than 20 UMD Football Players Cited for Underage Drinking Sunday Night
UMD head football coach Curt Wiese confirmed Monday that between 20-30 players were cited for underage drinking Sunday night.
Women Uninjured after Being Lost for Night in BWCAW
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says that a 40-year-old Iowa woman is safe after rescuers responded to a a emergency locater beacon deployed in the Boundary Waters early Monday.
Last-minute Shopping Packs Mall Before School Starts
Labor Day marks the end of summer for students across the Northland, and that means last-minute shopping for many families. The mall was packed on Labor Day hours before the new school year.