Heartbleed Fixes Not Totally Working

As many as 30,000 Web sites that thought they had patched the Heartbleed vulnerability are actually no better off now than they were previously -- and some may even be worse off, according to a report by Internet services company Netcraft. Many of the vulnerable sites scanned by Netcraft have yet to take any action in regard to the Heartbleed issue.

Heartbleed, a vulnerability in some OpenSSL installations, was discovered in April. Immediately after the bug was announced, SSL certificates and keys were replaced but in many instances, they were replaced with compromised keys. According to the report, 57 percent of sites have not revoked SSL certificates or issued safe ones, leaving thousands and possibly millions of people at risk.

Not Any Better

The majority of sites that Netcraft looked at are simply not better off now than they were in April when Heartbleed was made public. Most sites have decided to avoid updating OpenSSL and issuing new certificates while other sites have simply not revoked the compromised keys, leaving security up to individual users.

An estimated 5 percent of vulnerable servers were apparently under the control of administrators who did not understand how to actually fix the Heartbleed vulnerability. In those instances, 30,000 Web sites revoked certificates and issued new ones. Unfortunately, the updated certificates were still based on compromised keys, leaving the sites and their users at risk.

Rob Graham, CEO of Errate Security, published a report Thursday that backed up Netcraft's findings. Graham, who performed a scan of Web sites shortly after Heartbleed was announced, found that 615,268 servers were vulnerable. After weeks of patching, that figure now stands at 318,239.

Making Sites Vulnerable

The Web sites that are perhaps in the worst shape following Heartbleed are those that actually increased their vulnerabilities because they overreacted. Vivaldi software developer Yngve...

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