New bugs uncovered in encryption software

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Boston - New bugs in the widely used encryption software known as OpenSSL were disclosed on Thursday, though experts say do not pose a serious threat like the "Heartbleed" vulnerability in the same technology that surfaced a year ago.

Heartbleed triggered panic throughout the computer industry when it was reported in April 2014. That bug forced dozens of computers, software and networking equipment makers to issue patches for hundreds of products, and their customers had to scour data centres to identify vulnerable equipment.

Cyber security watchers had feared the new round of bugs would be as serious as Heartbleed, according to experts who help companies identify vulnerabilities in their networks. The concerns surfaced after the OpenSSL Project, which distributes OpenSSL software, warned several days ago that it planned to release a batch of security patches.

"You need to take all vulnerabilities seriously, but I'm kind of disappointed. There's been a week building up to this," said Cris Thomas, a strategist with cyber security firm Tenable Network Security.

The OpenSSL project released updates for four versions of the software, covering 12 security fixes for vulnerabilities reported to them in recent months by several cyber security researchers.

The threats include one that makes affected systems vulnerable to so-called denial-of-service attacks that disrupt web traffic, though none threaten the "crypto" technology used to encrypt data, Ristic said.

Ivan Ristic, director of application security with Qualys, said he was not too concerned about the new bugs because most involved programming errors in a new version of OpenSSL, which is not widely used.

"It doesn't seem a big story," Ristic said. "I think people feared it would be bad, which is where all the hype came from."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
15.18
(-0.10)
ZAR/GBP
20.45
(-0.25)
ZAR/EUR
18.43
(-0.10)
ZAR/AUD
11.29
(-0.08)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.15)
Gold
1834.46
(-0.29)
Silver
24.09
(+0.34)
Platinum
1062.00
(+3.87)
Brent Crude
48.78
(+0.95)
Palladium
2353.99
(+2.27)
All Share
59419.37
(+0.80)
Top 40
54500.04
(+0.61)
Financial 15
11646.83
(+2.17)
Industrial 25
79758.36
(+0.10)
Resource 10
57015.33
(+0.70)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 381 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 945 votes
My landlord refused
27% - 498 votes
Vote