Vulnerabilities / Threats
4/18/2014
03:00 PM
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Poll: Dark Reading Community Acts On Heartbleed

Roughly 60 percent of respondents to our flash poll have installed the Heartbeat fix or are in the process of doing so.

It will be some time before the full impact of the Heartbleed bug will be known, but in the Dark Reading security community, members are not dragging their feet about remedial action, according to our recent online flash poll Broken Heartbeat.

The danger was perceived immediately. "If you can spoof the server and step in as if you were that server, from a malicious standpoint, there is no end to the data that will be compromised," RyanSepe observed in a comment on our breaking story, Emergency SSL/TLS Patching Under Way. In the days since, more than 260 of you have weighed in on the steps your companies are taking to prevent cyberspies and criminals from gaining access to personal data on servers, networks, and devices through the flawed OpenSSL "Heartbeat" function of TLS.

Our poll allowed respondents to choose as many of the five responses as applied to their mitigation strategy. Six out of 10 of our respondents report that they have already installed the Heartbeat fix on their servers or are in the process of doing so. Only about 40 percent said they are replacing digital certificates.

The issue of what to do about passwords was raised by many readers, both on a personal level and in relation to the need to safeguard others' personal data on corporate servers. "As a developer I find it appalling that companies are not instituting a password black list for the 100 most common passwords by now," wrote jaingverda on Emergency SSL/TLS Patching Under Way. Yet, in our poll, only 30 percent of respondents said their organizations are requiring end users to change their passwords.

Not surprisingly, fewer than 8 percent of respondents said they are doing nothing about Heartbleed. But I take with a grain of salt the 17 percent who checked "What's Heartbleed?" -- a tongue-in-cheek response we included to underscore the fact that we recognize the limits of our online poll; it's anecdotal information, not pure research.

That said, I hope we can flesh out these data points with more detail in ongoing discussions. To quote Ed Moyle in a comment titled "Tip of the iceberg IMHO:"

What really concerns me is less the population of web servers that this impacts -- because, impactful as that is, they can at least upgrade fairly easily. What really makes me nervous is what else is vulnerable that can't be upgraded quite so easily. This code is in a lot of stuff, in particular embedded systems. Mark my words -- we'll be dealing with this one for a while.

I couldn't agree more. Let's begin by chatting about what strategies have been effective for you so far and what challenges have you stumped. And, if you still want to add your two cents to the online poll, it's still live, so click here.

Marilyn has been covering technology for business, government, and consumer audiences for over 20 years. Prior to joining UBM, Marilyn worked for nine years as editorial director at TechTarget Inc., where she launched six Websites for IT managers and administrators supporting ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Marilyn Cohodas
50%
50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
4/21/2014 | 1:21:52 PM
Re: passwords -- in relation to the Heartbleed bug
Paul, In terms of our poll, do you think the fact that only 30 percent of respondents said their organizations are requiring end users to change their passwords, reflects a deeper problem -- that most organizations have given up on the idea that passwords are an effective end-users security strategy?
PaulS681
50%
50%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/20/2014 | 6:50:04 PM
passwords

Passwords are the weak link to many things. How many people use that word for their password?  I bet it's a pretty large number. That being said what else can we do? Finger prints maybe? I realize that's much easier said than done.

 

Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Must Reads - September 25, 2014
Dark Reading's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of identity and access management. Learn about access control in the age of HTML5, how to improve authentication, why Active Directory is dead, and more.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-5619
Published: 2014-09-29
The Sleuth Kit (TSK) 4.0.1 does not properly handle "." (dotfile) file system entries in FAT file systems and other file systems for which . is not a reserved name, which allows local users to hide activities it more difficult to conduct forensics activities, as demonstrated by Flame.

CVE-2012-5621
Published: 2014-09-29
lib/engine/components/opal/opal-call.cpp in ekiga before 4.0.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via an OPAL connection with a party name that contains invalid UTF-8 strings.

CVE-2012-6107
Published: 2014-09-29
Apache Axis2/C does not verify that the server hostname matches a domain name in the subject's Common Name (CN) or subjectAltName field of the X.509 certificate, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof SSL servers via an arbitrary valid certificate.

CVE-2012-6110
Published: 2014-09-29
bcron-exec in bcron before 0.10 does not close file descriptors associated with temporary files when running a cron job, which allows local users to modify job files and send spam messages by accessing an open file descriptor.

CVE-2013-1874
Published: 2014-09-29
Untrusted search path vulnerability in csi in Chicken before 4.8.2 allows local users to execute arbitrary code via a Trojan horse .csirc in the current working directory.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In our next Dark Reading Radio broadcast, we’ll take a close look at some of the latest research and practices in application security.