This is a quick PSA to alert people running servers about a vulnerability discovered in the OpenSSL cryptographic library. It’s been dubbed ‘heartbleed’. You can find out more at this site, which is where I lifted the quote..
The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).
The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.
You can test if you’ve been affected here. If you are vulnerable, a patch has already been rolled out on most major distros (took my debian server 1 minute to update), just update your packages.