How to Protect Yourself From the Heartbleed Bug

Apr 11, 2014

SourceCon readers tend to be early adopters of technology. Because of this, most of us have logged into numerous social networks and recruiting technology startups over the years in the hunt for the perfect candidate to fill our requisitions. Right now, as time-consuming as this may sound, it’s important for all of us to make sure we change our passwords in light of the Heartbleed Bug. The SourceCon and ERE servers have not been affected directly by the bug, but other sites you use probably have been.

What is the Heartbleed Bug?

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users. –

Once again, Heartbleed isn’t impacting the SourceCon or ERE servers directly.

Below are the steps the SourceCon team recommends everyone take to protect themselves. 

  1. Change your passwords. ALL of them. This article from Mashable will get you started.
  2. As long as you’re changing passwords, use this opportunity to start using different passwords for every site. It’s really easy with LastPass, which has a terrific free version. A password utility like this will securely generate, store, and enter passwords for you. Once you’ve used it for a week, you won’t want to go back to memorizing all of your passwords or using the same password on multiple sites (Heartbleed shows just how dangerous that can be).
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