One of the biggest encryption flaws the Internet has ever endured has potentially affected thousands of websites.
One of the biggest encryption flaws the Internet has ever endured has potentially affected thousands of websites .
The Heartbleed bug is a security threat that may have exposed account information such as credit card numbers and passwords of millions of people throughout the past two years. The risk is known, but the extent of damage at this point is unknown.
According to the Associated Press, Heartbleed affects the encryption technology designed to protect online accounts for email, instant messaging and e-commerce.
It was discovered by a team of researchers from the Finnish security firm Codenomicon, along with a Google Inc. researcher who was working separately.
It's unclear whether any information has been stolen as a result of Heartbleed, but security experts are particularly worried about the bug because it went undetected for more than two years. Popular websites such as Tumblr, Google, Yahoo and GoDaddy were affected, and many others may have been exposed.
Most of the sites affected have applied security patches to fix the bug, but as always, changing your password is a good idea.
For an extensive list of companies affected and whether you need to change your password, CLICK HERE .
Information from Mashable and the Associated Press is included in this report.