Heartbleed is a big security threat for VPN services

heartbleed-002While surfing, the VPN services should be secure enough to protect you against any kind of security breach. Their servers should be well armed with necessary tools so as to protect the user’s data in the best probable manner.

Now, the latest talks about the Heartbleed bug have started astounding a number of VPN services and popular websites in the world. In this article, we’ll try to understand about Heartbleed security bug and the precautionary measures that should be implemented to address this issue.

Heartbleed – A Major Security Bug  

Basically, it is a flaw in the encryption code that has recently exposed hundreds of popular sites including Yahoo, NASA, Airbnb, OKCupid and many more. It is a security threat found in OpenSSL library, which allows the outsiders to access the encrypted data.

Over 60% of websites make use of OpenSSL to encrypt their online services. This bug has mainly targeted the VPN providers. When the bug was disclosed publically, it caused a great panic to the experts.

It could be one of the major security bugs that the webservers have ever seen. If you register and log into such affected websites, then your account details would be compromised, allowing the hackers to access your important details like passwords and credit card information and etc.

The bad news is that there’s nothing in the hands of Internet users. It is the responsibility of the VPN service providers and other companies to revise their webservers and update them to deal with this serious issue.

Theoretically, a successful hacker could have exploited the heartbleed bug to collect the sensitive data. They could have gained access over the private keys and encryption certificates of webservers.

For most of the network admins, it was nearly invisible before the disclosure of the bug. With these certificates and keys, cybercriminals can still exploit the live sessions of VPN users, if the OpenSSL is not been properly patched by webmasters.

Well, it seems that researchers are the first to discover this problem, and there isn’t any sign that proves that the data theft is done using heartbleed exploitation.

What VPN Providers Can Do To Resolve Heartbleed Issue?

While not all of the webmasters are approving the possibility of bug exploitation, they have not fully denied it. For the same reason, it becomes significant for VPN services to take preventive steps. Here are the most crucial that the VPN providers should take in time –

  • Review, audit or simply update OpenSSL or at least the vulnerable components that make use of OpenSSL
  • Reinstate all the SSL certificates linked with affected elements and fully revoke older certificates
  • Create new private keys and certificates for all OpenSSL linked components

Bottom Line

If the VPN providers could properly implement the above steps, they can simply reduce the risk of the data theft. Nearly, all of the webmasters, experts and researchers have asserted that heartbleed can impose significant threat to vulnerable servers.

However, it is hard to find out whether someone has ever been exploited Heartbleed or not. So, it is always good to be well protected and equipped to survive in such critical situations.