Essays Tagged "Mark News"

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A Human Problem

The Heartbleed bug that was reported in April allowed hackers to steal private online information. Cyber-security analyst Bruce Schneier argues that such technical vulnerabilities always arise from human errors.

  • Bruce Schneier
  • The Mark News
  • May 19, 2014

The announcement on April 7 was alarming. A new internet vulnerability called Heartbleed could allow hackers to steal your logins and passwords. It affected a piece of security software that is used on half a million websites worldwide. Fixing it would be hard: It would strain our security infrastructure and the patience of users everywhere.

It was a software insecurity, but the problem was entirely human.

Software has vulnerabilities because it’s written by people, and people make mistakes—thousands of mistakes. This particular mistake was made in 2011 by a German graduate student who was one of the unpaid volunteers working on a piece of software called OpenSSL. The update was approved by a British consultant…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.