This Is Bad: Heartbleed Attack Targets VPN Service

Bad craziness
Image via snoopsmaus

Most of the coverage of the Heartbleed bug has focused on the security problems for websites, but there’s another avenue of attack now being exploited by hackers: the Virtual Private Network (VPN) systems used by many large and small businesses.

Security firm Mandiant reports that it is has observed a Heartbleed attack occurring “in the wild.” The attack targeted a Virtual Private Network service at an unnamed organization, gaining access to its internal corporate network — and it shows that hackers are finding the parts of the internet are least likely to have been updated to protect against Heartbleed.

The attack worked like this. When a user logs into a VPN service, it issues a “session token,” a temporary credential that is supposed to prove that a user has already been authenticated. By stealing the authentication token from the server’s memory, the attacker can impersonate the legitimate user and hijack her connection to the server, gaining access to the organization’s internal network.

This disastrous security hole in OpenSSL may have more effect on these kinds of semi-closed systems than on easily upgraded web servers, because the people who use VPNs and other types of networking applications and devices may not even realize they’re relying on the buggy versions of OpenSSL, and it may be difficult (or even impossible in some cases) to update the software.

But web servers are still a big problem as well; the Washington Post’s Brian Fung points out that we may be seeing some large scale disruptions of the Internet in the not too distant future: Heartbleed Is About to Get Worse, and It Will Slow the Internet to a Crawl.

Estimates of the severity of the bug’s damage have mounted almost daily since researchers announced the discovery of Heartbleed last week. What initially seemed like an inconvenient matter of changing passwords for protection now appears much more serious. New revelations suggest that skilled hackers can use the bug to create fake Web sites that mimic legitimate ones to trick consumers into handing over valuable personal information.

The sheer scale of the work required to fix this aspect of the bug — which makes it possible to steal the “security certificates” that verify that a Web site is authentic — could overwhelm the systems designed to keep the Internet trustworthy.

“Imagine if we found out all at once that all the doors everybody uses are all vulnerable — they can all get broken into,” said Jason Healey, a cybersecurity scholar at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. “The kinds of bad things it enables is largely limited only by the imagination of the bad guys.”

UPDATE at 4/18/14 6:22:46 pm

Please note! We got out in front of the rush to revoke/reissue our SSL certificates right away, the day the bug was announced, so Little Green Footballs is not vulnerable to the problem described in the Washington Post article.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
‘I Begged Them for Help’ — Wells Fargo Foreclosure Nightmare Corporate greed writ large. I can not imagine the impact on the families. Facts don't tell the story of stress, sleepless nights, the deep dread a family feels when their home is threatened. New York (CNN Business)Foreclosures can be ...
Unshaken Defiance
17 hours, 14 minutes ago
Views: 133 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Avenatti: “Cohen Just Got 3 Years. Donald Trump Is next.” Michael Avenatti is taking no prisoners: "Michael Cohen was sentenced today," said attorney Michael Avenatti, who noted Cohen will report to prison on the same day a lawsuit was filed on behalf of adult film star Stormy Daniels. "Donald ...
Khal Wimpo (the extinguisher of tiki torches)
20 hours, 44 minutes ago
Views: 95 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Day After Neo-Nazi Is Convicted of Murder, Associates of a Violent Skinhead Group Charged With Hate Crimes Travis David Condor, a member of the band Birthrite and head of hate-music record label American Defense Records, was among nine people arrested at a bar in Lynwood, Washington, early Saturday morning. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said in ...
Thanos
3 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 312 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Embattled Washington Rep. Matt Shea Is Skirting State Law to Funnel Campaign Funds to Far-Right Groups Shea uses his office and campaign funds to spearhead a partitionist effort to split Washington into two states, and may have violated state laws by using surplus campaign funds to make at least $5,500 in contributions to far-right nonprofit ...
Thanos
3 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 206 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Outer Worlds - Official Announcement Trailer Watch the official announcement trailer for The Outer Worlds, a new single-player first-person sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. In The Outer Worlds, you awake from hibernation on a colonist ship that was lost in transit to ...
Thanos
4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 186 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Umbrella Academy When it rains, it pours. Here's your first look at The Umbrella Academy. Coming to Netflix February 15. A dysfunctional family of superheroes comes together to solve the mystery of their father's death, the threat of the apocalypse and ...
Thanos
4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 173 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Elvis Costello & the Imposters - Suspect My Tears The new deluxe album ‘Look Now’ out now, order here: elviscostello.lnk.to Explore more music from Elvis Costello: lnk.to Follow Elvis Costello:Facebook: facebook.comInstagram: instagram.comTwitter: twitter.comWebsite: elviscostello.com Director & Original Story - MustashrikExecutive Production - Whitney JacksonProduced by Partizan VFX Supervisor ...
Thanos
4 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 224 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
VULFPECK /// Half of the Way (Feat. Theo Katzman) VULFPECK /// Half of the Waybuy on bandcamp → vuuulf.com Theo Katzman — vocalsLarry Goldings — piano, composerRyan Lerman — guitar, composer, engineerJoey Dosik — saxWoody Goss — tambourineJack Stratton — drums, mixingJoe Dart — fender bassCory Wong — ...
Thanos
4 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 142 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Storyhill - Blazing Out of Sight (Live at Radio Heartland)Storyhill perform "Blazing Out of Sight," from their 2007 self-titled album as well from the 2018 compilation, "Stages," live at Radio Heartland.
Thanos
4 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 163 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
How Smooth Jazz Took Over the ’90s You should give smooth jazz a chance. Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl Smooth jazz has gotten a bad rap for decades. It’s often associated with background music for elevators or the soundtrack at the dentist office. Smooth jazz is ...
Thanos
5 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 191 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0