Links to Stop the #Heartbleed

If you stayed offline this week, you may not have heard about a serious bug coined #heartbleed which threatened the security of a huge swath of the internet.

Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest glitches in the Internet’s history, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites. Its discovery and the creation of a fix by researchers five days ago prompted consumers to change their passwords, the Canadian government to suspend electronic tax filing and computer companies including Cisco Systems Inc. to Juniper Networks Inc. to provide patches for their systems. [via Bloomberg]

If you do anything on the internet, then this is something you should learn more about. What’s more, if you are an educator involved in educational technology in any way, I believe we have now reached the point where not having a serious re-examination of the whys, whats, wheres, and hows is irresponsible. Here are a few links which I’ve gathered if you’re a bit in the dark:

  1. What it is and why it ‘bleeds’ your privacy.
  2. Passwords you should change now.
  3. Lastpass’ #heartbleed website checker.
  4. 1Password’s awesome Watchtower.
  5. The punch-to-the-gut revelations that the National Security Agency (aka FBI), whose stated mission is to protect Americans from security threats, knew about the bug for years and, in fact exploited it.

Note that, as my friend Jessy Irwin reminds us, it’s very important not to change your passwords until you receive confirmation that the website has patched the vulnerability.

Is this stuff rocking your world like it is mine? I’d love to know in the comments below.

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  1. says

    Yes, yes, yes. I’ve been talking to my own kids about this, and I tweeted out a question this week to ask if people were talking to their students about it. Didn’t get a response. To me, this is HUGE, but it’s one of those things where I think it scares the heck out of adults, and they’re baffled by it, so they’re not sure how to talk to students (or each other about it). CBC Radio’s drive-homme show out of Toronto has actually been doing a great job demystifying, and gave the same advice today on not changing passwords ’til you know the “bleed” has been stopped at that site. Suggested Mashable as a good spot for an up-to-date list to check. Also talked about the good idea of a password keeper/generator app. Interesting times, my friend. On the to-do list:changing passwords.

  2. Mary Heenan says

    Lisa has the perfect word – baffled! I cannot say I was surprised by the news. Something as big as the Internet has become is bound to have “holes” but holy crap, not a gaping crater (or, perhaps, a better analogy is a thousand — or more — leaks). Thanks for trying to clarify (both of you) and for the links.

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