Heartbleed may expose SA financial information

2014-04-15 10:25
John Miller of Trustwave says that the Heartbleed bug presents a real threat to South African consumers' financial information. (Trustwave)

John Miller of Trustwave says that the Heartbleed bug presents a real threat to South African consumers' financial information. (Trustwave)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cape Town - South African consumers may have had their personal financial information exposed as more details of the Heartbleed bug become apparent, says an expert.

Heartbleed has caused panic among computer security experts, particularly because it is unknown how long the bug may have been exploited to steal encrypted data.

"Heartbleed exposes sensitive data from servers, and in some cases, clients performing SSL-based encryption. That sensitive data could include users' passwords, payment card information, or session identifiers allowing attackers to assume control of a user's account," John Miller, Trustwave Security Research manager told News24.

Trustwave is a security company that specialises in helping organisation fight cybercrime by, among other things, conducting ethical intrusions and monitoring to ensure data fidelity.

Some have argued that despite the vulnerability, the threat is diminished because hackers can only extract small bits of information in an attack.

Vulnerability

Miller dismissed this, saying that there were factors that could still make an attack effective.

"Although the attack only reveals a small portion of memory, it can still reveal these sensitive details. Furthermore, the attack is stable - it does not cause the server to crash - which allows an attacker to run it repeatedly. The memory exposed during each attack request can be combined to gain greater context."

Heartbleed exposes a vulnerability in OpenSSL which is used to transmit encrypted data. When you type in "https" in a browser, you expect that the website is secure, but the bug means that hackers could theoretically compromise your financial information.

The flaw allows hackers to steal bits of information from the memory on computers. Though the data packets are small, passwords, logons and credit card numbers are not typically large files.

Miller said that it was unknown how long the bug could have been used to steal information.

"The vulnerability has been present in OpenSSL releases since March of 2012, leaving plenty of time for advanced adversaries to have discovered and abused it.

"Without widespread awareness of the issue there was little reason for anyone to track the types of requests that would have indicated an attack was underway," he added.


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    trustwave  |  cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.