Nation & World News

NSA Denies It Knew About Heartbleed Bug Before It Was Made Public

By Eyder Peralta on April 11th, 2014

The National Security Agency says it did not know about a critical security bug until it became public earlier this month.

The NSA was responding to a report from Bloomberg that the agency had known about the vulnerability known as “Heartbleed” for two years and instead of alerting the tech community, it exploited the bug to “gather critical intelligence.”

Just to catch you up: The Heartbleed bug has led tech experts to call on Internet users worldwide to change the passwords they use on popular and sensitive sites, like that of their bank or email provider. As NPR’s Jeremy Bowers explained, the bug allowed an attacker to receive the encryption keys used to transmit information like your username and password. In other words, the bug allowed access to the “crown jewels.”

In a statement, the NSA said Bloomberg’s report was simply “wrong.” The U.S., the NSA said, would reveal this kind of vulnerability to developers if it ever came upon it. The statement goes on:

“The Federal government relies on OpenSSL to protect the privacy of users of government websites and other online services. This Administration takes seriously its responsibility to help maintain an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet. If the Federal government, including the intelligence community, had discovered this vulnerability prior to last week, it would have been disclosed to the community responsible for OpenSSL.

“When Federal agencies discover a new vulnerability in commercial and open source software – a so-called ‘Zero day’ vulnerability because the developers of the vulnerable software have had zero days to fix it – it is in the national interest to responsibly disclose the vulnerability rather than to hold it for an investigative or intelligence purpose.

“In response to the recommendations of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, the White House has reviewed its policies in this area and reinvigorated an interagency process for deciding when to share vulnerabilities. This process is called the Vulnerabilities Equities Process. Unless there is a clear national security or law enforcement need, this process is biased toward responsibly disclosing such vulnerabilities.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

In Qatar, Released Taliban Member Raises U.S. Concerns

There are new suspicions that one of the men released from a U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year might be trying to contact Taliban fighters.


Danish archer Lars Andersen calls himself "the fastest archer alive" — and he seeks to prove it, in a new video.

An Archer Goes Old-School, And Wows The Internet

Citing archery’s historic methods, a Danish archer has released a video in which he fires three arrows in 0.6 seconds. Lars Andersen argues for speed and agility, in addition to accuracy.


Close Friend Of Putin Awarded Contract For Crimea Bridge

The span to be built across a narrow strait that separates Russia from the newly annexed peninsula, is pegged at $3 billion and scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.


Friday, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings reminded sports journalist Clay Travis that his five-year guarantee — that Cousins would be arrested — had expired.

NBA Player Flouts A Critic’s Guarantee That He Would Be Arrested

In 2010, sportswriter Clay Travis said in a tweet, “There is a 100% chance that DeMarcus Cousins is arrested for something in the next five years.”


WATCH: Forget Crop Circles, This Farmer Is Making Art With His Cows

Derek Klingenberg in Kansas flew a drone equipped with a camera over his farm. Then he dropped feed in strategic places for a happy result.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments