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Heartbleed: Your Questions, Answered

The internet bug known as Heartbleed has been making the rounds in the news lately. To help you better understand the bug and how to protect your information, here’s what you need to know:

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is a bug in the code running on the servers of millions of websites. It leaves open a hole that allows potential hackers to steal protected information from services and users or impersonate services and users. This means that the information stored on the servers, and passed between you and the site (including logins and passwords), could be stolen.

Is Heartbleed a virus?

Not exactly. It is an encryption flaw created by the people who wrote the code for OpenSSL that leaves websites vulnerable to attack. Simply put, it was an accident.

Has my financial institution been compromised?

In light of this vulnerability, West Community is working with our vendors to ensure that our systems are up-to-date with the most recent patch. We have no indication that our systems were exploited by this bug. 

Should I update my passwords?

While we do recommend updating your passwords periodically, you are not required to because of the Heartbleed flaw. However, there are millions of websites  that use OpenSSL, and if you frequent these vulnerable sites, updating your passwords is suggested.

How do I know if a site I frequent is compromised?

If you are concerned about whether a website is vulnerable to Heartbleed, you can test it using this free tool.

If you have any questions or concerns about Heartbleed that were not addressed, or you have additional information you’d like to share, let us know in the comments!