Australian businesses exposed to 'heart bleed' bug

Australian businesses exposed to 'heart bleed' bug

Patching the bug is just the start, it seems...

Twenty of Australia's ASX top 200 organisations have been exposed to the dangerous 'heart bleed' vulnerability in OpenSSL, which was revealed yesterday.
 
OpenSSL, an open-source implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols, contains a bug in its heartbeat extension that validates site connections.
 
Attackers could exploit the read-overrun bug to quietly connect to vulnerable servers which would leak memory that could include usernames and passwords and even the SSL server's private key. 
 
Those with access to the key could use it to impersonate a site even after the bug has been fixed, and likely crawl over and decrypt encrypted data. Man in the middle attacks could be performed by those with private keys in hand.
 
Scores of insecure sites have been detected and some of the biggest websites including Amazon and Wordpress have rushed to apply a patch for the two-year old vulnerability.
 
Yahoo! has also plugged the hole but failed to act on early advice from Google and Codenomicon researchers who tipped off some sites ahead of the disclosure yesterday. That led to the exposure of usernames and passwords for users of its email service.
 
Credit: @markloman
Yahoo passwords exposed
 
Statistics from metrics company Netcraft show that 66 percent of websites run open source web servers Apache and nginx which use OpenSSL as the default encryption system. 
 
HackLabs director Chris Gatford ran quick tests of the ASX top 200 organisations and found 20 which were still exposed.
 
He said applying the fix would be painful for some organisations but necessary and said attackers may target the bug for a long time.
 
Scores more sites have been found by researchers and attackers by using simple scripts and online tools.
 
Security researchers have also posted proof of concept scripts to find and hijack user sessions from vulnerable servers en masse.
 
But Google researcher Neel Mehta who helped discover the bug said exposure of private keys was unlikely due to memory allocation patterns.
 
While it remained critical that organisations apply the OpenSSL patch, doing so mitigated only one part of the threat.
 
Web administrators concerned that their website was exploited in the two years the bug existed under the radar should obtain new digital certificates. 
 
Those admins worried that attackers have gained access to private keys should join the few to deploy Perfect Forward Secrecy, a powerful tool to prevent attackers from decrypting data sent during the past two years.
 
Security boffins also advise that passwords should be changed, a step that some websites are already taking.
 
Organisations running the Snort security software should review a list of signatures for the platform which will detect successful attacks against heart bleed.

Source: Copyright © PC & Tech Authority. All rights reserved.

See more about:  infosec  |  security  |  heart bleed  |  organisations  |  private keys  |  google  |  asx top 200 organisations  |  chris gatford  |  heart  |  yahoo
 
 

Readers of this article also read...

Grand Theft Auto and the airbrushing of history 

Grand Theft Auto and the airbrushing of history

 
Mental illness in videogames: why we must do better 

Mental illness in videogames: why we must do better

 
The Great Smartwatch Shootout 

The Great Smartwatch Shootout

 
Google to launch Android Pay in Australia next year. 

Google to launch Android Pay in Australia next year.

 
How far is too far on the Oculus Rift? 

How far is too far on the Oculus Rift?

 
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
LastPass 4.0 released, debuts new look and Emergency Access feature
28 Jan 2016
Password manager provider LastPass has unveiled LastPass 4.0, a major new release of its ...
Is your IT security as good as your big customers expect?
22 Jan 2016
Cisco's 2016 Annual Security Report suggests SMEs are falling behind in terms of IT security - ...
Stretch your NAS with Seagate's new 8TB drive
15 Jan 2016
If the total capacity of your NAS is beginning to feel like a constraint, Seagate may have the ...
Survey says... SMEs like instant asset write-off
14 Dec 2015
MYOB's ongoing Business Monitor survey reports strong support for the instant asset write-off.
Business hacks: How to protect your website against hackers
4 Dec 2015
How concerned should you be of a hack, and how do you handle the fallout once one happens?

Latest Comments

Ads by Google

From our Partners

PC & Tech Authority Downloads