Heartbleed bug a ‘major threat’

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Sheffield-based IT support company Impelling Solutions is calling on local businesses to take immediate action to protect their websites against an imminent security threat.

Thousands of online businesses have been left vulnerable after a bug was identified that allows potential attackers to gain access to secure information, including usernames, passwords and credit card details.

The ‘Heartbleed’ Bug targets OpenSSL Software, which is widely used by ecommerce websites and sites that require a secure login area.

Websites with SSL encryption, that use anything other than the most recent version of OpenSSL software, have become insecure overnight.

Edward Hardie, technical director at Impelling Solutions, said: “The bug affects all versions of the OpenSSL Software, apart from the very latest, so it’s imperative that business owners act immediately to make sure sensitive information stored on their website is kept secure.

“Business owners can check to see if their website is vulnerable at http://filippo.io/Heartbleed. If it is, they should contact their hosting company who should be able to take immediate action to secure their website.”

While websites are vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, there is a risk that unauthorised users will gain access to server encryption keys, allowing them to spy on data being transmitted between the server and the user’s browser.

Edward added: “As soon as the news broke about the Heartbleed bug, our technical team responded and managed to protect all of the websites we host for our clients within a matter of hours.”