Heartbleed: a Courtesy Message from OPAS

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If you’re not aware, the wide world of the internet and E-commerce was recently rocked by the revelation of the Heartbleed bug, which was an error in the code of OpenSSL, the secure socket layer encryption software used by many major websites.

This bug may have exposed millions of users’ sensitive information to data thieves; passwords, credit card details, etc. According to analysis, up to 17.3% of the 1 million top ranked websites use OpenSSL software which may have been vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, including many of our members’ favorite sites for shopping.

At this point, there’s no need to panic. The best course of action is just to change your passwords for any site you think may be compromised. All of the largest online companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, banks and mega-merchants and the like are all aware of the problem and have been working to fix it with patches in their security code.

If your information on these sites was exposed to Heartbleed, then replacing the vulnerable password will serve to re-secure your information. Once all websites have been patched and all passwords have been reset, then this bug, which has been out “in the wild” for about two years, will be extinct.

For smaller sites, there are ways to check if they’ve been fixed to remove Heartbleed vulnerability, like the following tools:

–          http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/

–          https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

If a website has not yet remedied the problem, then changing the password will not help, as the new password will still be exposed to the bug. Once they’ve patched, you’ll want to make the change to ensure security.

In case you’re wondering, OPAS Servers were NOT exposed to the Heartbleed bug – the security software we use is not one of the kinds affected.

We wanted to be certain we addressed this serious but controllable issue. So many of our customers conduct online purchasing from so many different merchants, and we want to make sure you’re all aware of the best methods for remaining safe in doing so.

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