2014 wasn’t a great year for online security, this year had an alarming number of serious bugs. Even as security experts and companies were developing stronger safeguards against hackers and malware, bugs were being discovered in old code and software, long forgotten about. So why was 2014 so bad for bugs? A look at the biggest software bugs of 2014.
One of the major bugs discovered this year was Heartbleed. First found back in April, it targeted encryption on websites, compromising up to two thirds of all web servers that used OpenSSL encryption. This meant that these websites using older code were vulnerable to not only attacks which removed the encryption but also allowed the hacker to access sensitive user data such as passwords. As soon as the exploit was revealed it had to take Google engineer Neal Mehta to release a patch in order to prevent the problem escalating. The after affects of Heartbleed resulted in an incredible number of password resets.
Not to be outdone, Shellshock was another exploit which was found in older code, but this time it was actually over 25 years old. The vulnerability existed in both Linux and Mac servers which could be manipulated to execute commands remotely, leading to infected machines with malware. The main problem with Shellshock was that it targeted such a wide area of machines and was particularly difficult to prevent.
POODLE was another security hack, this time targeting the computers and devices on unsecured wifi networks. It allowed an attacker to hijack another user’s internet session and subsequently steal all data that was transmitted within that time. This meant usernames and passwords to emails, social media and any sensitive data that may have been exchanged.
There was yet another security flaw that affected those with Apple hardware, this time it enabled hackers to potentially intercept any internet traffic that occurred on the same network. Gotofail was caused by an error in the coding of OSX and iOS which lead to the vulnerability, but unfortunately Apple only initially responded with a fox for iOS, leaving everyone on their Macs unsafe.
Unfortunately there is no telling if 2015 is going to be any safer, so whenever you are online, make sure you take the required precautions to stay safe. Don’t use the same passwords for everything and be careful when connecting to unsecured wireless networks, like in coffee shops. Go one step further and protect yourself with Le VPN, ensuring whenever you connect to the internet, wherever you are, you’ll always remain safe. A VPN can encrypt your connection and keep your personal information safe.
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