OpenSSL is leaving you vulnerable

The use of older encryption standards and infastructure is one of the major threats identified in Websense Inc.'s 2015 threat report. OpenSSL has a number of functions when connecting to websites. It's important for logging into websites and buying online as it's meant to secure the user through encryption but it has numerous flaws.

Threat Report 2015

The biggest threat to rock OpenSSL recently was the heartbleed exploit that exposed the vulnerability of many of the internets major websites. Heartbleed affected over 500,000 websites including big names such as Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. If exploited it would make passwords, usernames, credit card details and other data vulnerable to theft. Heartbleed has been patched but it's not the only threat to OpenSSL.

Other threats identified are a little bit more old fashioned. Websense in their research identified 81% of emails scanned as malicious. These would range from the usual spam advertisements to more sinister spear phishing techniques. Spear phishing is when a cyber-criminal imitates an institution that you should trust such as the police, bank or others and ask you to reveal sensitive private data or to download malware.

The report also identified some key trends that have also been identified elsewhere such as by EuroPol. Cyber-crime is becoming serious organised crime as huge bot-nets, lists of stolen data (e.g. credit card details) and other resources can now be easily purchased online to be used in cyber-crimes. This means that the effort needed to organise a series of cyber-crimes is minimal.

While cyber-threats have decreased 5% since last year, there is no indication of a downward trend as the internet of everything becomes a reality the possibility for exploits and cyber-crimes in everday life are going to increase dramatically. Not all that threats identified rely on new techniques, older ones are simply being altered. They are becoming more unpredictable and take advantage of numerous vulnerabilities within the infastructure the internet itself uses.

ZenMate adds an extra layer of security to your browser by encrypting your browser traffic. Helping to keep you secure when connecting to important services such as online banking, shopping and personal data.