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The Heartbleed Bug: Are you at risk?

Heartbleed bug

Researchers have uncovered a vulnerability in OpenSSL, a software that provides secure (encrypted) communications for electronic commerce, banking, and secure remote access (SSL VPN). This vulnerability has been termed the Heartbleed Bug. An attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability can read data from the memory of an attacked server. If the attacker is able to obtain the server’s private encryption keys from server memory, the vulnerability would allow attackers to decrypt and eavesdrop secure transactions or communications.

OpenSSL is extremely popular and used by an estimated 1/2 million web sites to encrypt their data.

ICANN is aware of the Heartbleed Bug. While the vulnerability does not affect the DNS, ICANN’s Security Team is urging top level domain registries, registrars (and their resellers) who provide e-merchant services for domain registration and other online services who use OpenSSL to upgrade to OpenSSL 1.0.1g, a version of OpenSSL that mitigates the threat from the Heartbleed Bug.

Organizations that use SSL-based Virtual Private Networks for secure application access should also take measures to mitigate this threat.

If you are looking for additional information on the Heartbleed Bug I would recommend the following three pieces:

Comments

    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."