Hello! Welcome to the unconventional Saturday byte!
When I heard the news and read the panic caused by “Cloudbleed” yesterday, I had to write about it with some advice for privacy protection. First off, CloudBleed was a massive memory leak that was confirmed late Thursday night with the web service “Cloudflare.” It was revealed that the leak occurred February 13th through February 18th but was found on the 18th by Google’s security team. You may be thinking that you have never heard of that company, so there is no way your data was compromised. However, over 2 million websites you click on your Google search work through the Cloudflare server. Cloudflare stated that 1 in every 3,300,000 HTTP requests were potentially affected- that’s about 4,287,625 people and their data at risk. Websites including Fitbit, OkCupid, and Uber were compromised of usernames, passwords, and authentification information for websites(For example, this information was found on a financial website and could allow a hacker to log in as a user).
This security leak, as well as that of Stewart International Airport, teaches us loads about our safety as frequent users of the Internet. It’s scary, yes- but it reminds us how important it is to be protective of your data. Remember to change your passwords for ALL the sites you use and change them now! With millions affected by this leak, we see how unpredictable these data leaks are- and untimely! Although the bug was addressed and remedied quickly- we have to be prepared for them whenever and wherever and know how to respond. It is best to place 2-factor authentification on your accounts and change your passwords- since any website could have been affected by the leak. Since this can get confusing, I recommend using a password manager to manage and safe keep your multitude of passwords. Password managers such as 1Password and AgileBits reassured their customers on Thursday night that their infrastructure, designed for failures, stood unaffected by the leak. These managers help a lot in remembering passwords and taking a load off your shoulders.
As always, stay safe and take precaution!