The Heartbleed vulnerability has gotten a lot of press recently, and for good reason. It is particularly insidious because it is a flaw in OpenSSL used to secure much of the Internet.
The vulnerability has been out there for two years due to a mistake in coding of the open source SSL but was just discovered and made public last week. It compromises the secret keys used to encrypt the traffic, names and passwords of users on a large number of Internet sites, including some of the biggest sites on the Web.
Bloomberg reports from anonymous sources that the NSA knew about Heartbleed and regularly used it to gather intelligence for at least two years, but the White House and security agencies deny that. It is coming out that fewer sites are affected than originally thought.
Tech Talk: What is the Heartbleed bug?
This week on "Tech Talk," the PG's Ced Kurtz and Laura Malt Schneiderman talk about "The Heartbleed Bug" -- what it is and how you can protect yourself. (Video by Melissa Tkach; 4/14/2014)
What should you do? You should change your password to any sites that have said they were compromised by Heartbleed. TechMan has changed his for two affected sites.
Mashable.com has a good list of affected sites that could grow as time goes on. It is at http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/.
These folks need to be audited: Speaking of security, Microsoft ended support, including security updates, for Windows XP last Tuesday. Among those who did not ditch the operating system in time is the IRS, according to Computerworld. The tax agency has 110,000 Windows computers, and 58,000 of them are still running XP. So the IRS will have to pay Microsoft more than $11 million for special security for its computers that have not switched to Windows 7.
Get your Glass: Google is opening sales of its face-mounted computer Glass for one day only — today. Google is throwing in free frames or sunglasses for the $1,500 price tag, according to CNN. Sales start at 9 a.m.
747 on a diet: The team that produced the first solar-powered aircraft that could fly around the clock has unveiled its successor, Solar Impulse 2, a craft that it hopes will be able to fly around the world. The airplane has a wingspan similar to a 747's, yet it weighs just a bit more than the average automobile (5,000 pounds), according to arstechnica.com.
More and more: Facebook recently revealed the number requests for data it received from various law enforcement agencies around the world in the second half of last year: 28,147. The Next Web reports that those requests impacted a potential 38,256 accounts, according to the company.
Bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon: No More Woof measures your dog's brain waves via electroencephalogram sensors and translates them into understandable English. Using a brain-computer interface powered by a Raspberry Pi, No More Woof turns certain mental states into verbal cues that are made audible through a speaker. The version available for $65 has the ability to determine two or three different thought patterns, says the Israeli newspaper site Haaretz.com.
Roadkill viewer: Wired reports that Land Rover is using streaming video to virtually remove an SUV’s hood. The concept, which will debut at the New York Auto Show, uses a front-facing camera to see what’s ahead, then projects the image on the lower portion of the windshield so the driver can see “through” the hood. Land Rover calls it a “Transparent Bonnet,” and besides an image of the terrain, the display shows the angle of the front wheels, the degree of the slope the driver is traversing, and the SUV’s speed.
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