The Heartbleed Bug is a lorigine du bitcoin vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. TLS encryption used to secure the Internet.
The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users. We have tested some of our own services from attacker’s perspective. We attacked ourselves from outside, without leaving a trace.
Without using any privileged information or credentials we were able steal from ourselves the secret keys used for our X. 509 certificates, user names and passwords, instant messages, emails and business critical documents and communication. As long as the vulnerable version of OpenSSL is in use it can be abused. Fixed OpenSSL has been released and now it has to be deployed.
Operating system vendors and distribution, appliance vendors, independent software vendors have to adopt the fix and notify their users. CVE-2014-0160 is the official reference to this bug. Standard for Information Security Vulnerability Names maintained by MITRE. Why it is called the Heartbleed Bug? What makes the Heartbleed Bug unique? Bugs in single software or library come and go and are fixed by new versions. However this bug has left large amount of private keys and other secrets exposed to the Internet.
Considering the long exposure, ease of exploitation and attacks leaving no trace this exposure should be taken seriously. TLS to the applications and services. Encryption is used to protect secrets that may harm your privacy or security if they leak. What is leaked primary key material and how to recover? These are the crown jewels, the encryption keys themselves.
Leaked secret keys allow the attacker to decrypt any past and future traffic to the protected services and to impersonate the service at will. Any protection given by the encryption and the signatures in the X. What is leaked secondary key material and how to recover? Recovery from this leak requires owners of the service first to restore trust to the service according to steps described above. After this users can start changing their passwords and possible encryption keys according to the instructions from the owners of the services that have been compromised. What is leaked protected content and how to recover?
This is the actual content handled by the vulnerable services. It may be personal or financial details, private communication such as emails or instant messages, documents or anything seen worth protecting by encryption. Only owners of the services will be able to estimate the likelihood what has been leaked and they should notify their users accordingly. What is leaked collateral and how to recover? Leaked collateral are other details that have been exposed to the attacker in the leaked memory content. These may contain technical details such as memory addresses and security measures such as canaries used to protect against overflow attacks.
These have only contemporary value and will lose their value to the attacker when OpenSSL has been upgraded to a fixed version. Recovery sounds laborious, is there a short cut? After seeing what we saw by “attacking” ourselves, with ease, we decided to take this very seriously. We have gone laboriously through patching our own critical services and are dealing with possible compromise of our primary and secondary key material.
All this just in case we were not first ones to discover this and this could have been exploited in the wild already. How revocation and reissuing of certificates works in practice? You need to check your CA how compromised keys can be revoked and new certificate reissued for the new keys. Some CAs do this for free, some may take a fee. Am I affected by the bug? You are likely to be affected either directly or indirectly. Your popular social site, your company’s site, commerce site, hobby site, site you install software from or even sites run by your government might be using vulnerable OpenSSL.