It's the bug that keeps on bleeding. Thousands of websites are still vulnerable to Heartbleed more than a month after a patch for the password-leaking OpenSSL bug was released, we're told.
Researchers at AVG’s Virus Labs said they scanned Alexa's league table of the top 800,000 sites in the world, and found 12,043 (1.5 per cent) are still vulnerable. The bods also said some government-run websites in Asia and Brazil may be at risk.
Other security experts reckon AVG's figures are in line with their own surveys of the web.
"They [AVG] are close to what I've got," Ivan Ristic, director of engineering at cloud security firm Qualys, told El Reg today. At the end of April, three weeks after the Heartbleed fix was released, he estimated that less than one per cent of websites worldwide were vulnerable to the the data-disclosing bug at that time.
Ristic said SSL Pulse, which probes its own list of popular websites, said 0.8 per cent of surveyed sites were vulnerable in May. "I think the more popular the site, the faster the patching," he added today.
Robert Graham of Errata Security blogged that 1.35 per cent of sites he scanned about two weeks ago were still vulnerable.
Heartbleed is a bug in OpenSSL's implementation of a keep-alive feature in TLS: the flawed functionality was introduced years ago, but only revealed last month: it allows attackers to slowly sift through the memory of a server, router, or other vulnerable device, for sensitive data such as passwords and crypto-keys.
Apropos of nothing, AVG has added a Heartbleed scanner to its freebie AVG Web TuneUp browser tool to alert surfers when visiting a website that may still be affected by the serious flaw. Other consumer-focused Heartbleed warning utilities are available. ®