Computer bug `Heartbleed` poses severe threat - Fox 2 News Headlines

Computer bug `Heartbleed` poses severe threat

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A new computer bug called ‘Heartbleed' is potentially putting millions of passwords and credit cards at risk. It's been around for two years, but only recently was discovered by a team of Internet security experts.

This all comes just months after the security breach that affected more than 100-million Target customers.

"This is certainly a significant security event in terms of Internet security, one of the largest ones in years," said John Miller, Security Research Manager for Trustway.

Miller said ‘Heartbleed' is a vulnerability only recently detected in open SSI, a program used to provide security in about 60-percent of websites.

Scammers can use ‘Heartbleed' to grab chunks of private information from servers.

"That information could include passwords, credit card information, or the secret keys that the server uses to identify itself," Miller added.

Miller said that people should first determine whether any secure websites they use have been compromised by ‘Heartbleed.'

There are several online tools available, like one called ‘Filippo,' that allow you to plug in a website and see whether it's vulnerable to ‘Heartbleed.'

"If they have been affected, you'll want to find out what they've done to fix this issue, that they've patched it. And once you've confirmed that, you'll probably want to change your passwords," said Miller.

One of the reasons ‘Heartbleed' has gone undetected for two years is, despite the potential for abuse, there's little evidence it's been used aggressively to steal private information.

However, experts said you should also check your credit card and bank statements frequently to make sure you're not a cyber-victim.

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