The flaw appeared in the open source software, OpenSSL, a system that provides secure connections between servers and clients, and its huge popularity resulted in Heartbleed affecting up to two-thirds of the internet, it is believed, including such familiar sites and services as Yahoo, Instagram, Pinterest, Dropbox, Google, Facebook and Tumblr.
But not the Apple ecosystem. A spokesperson for the Cupertino-based company told Re/Code, “Apple takes security very seriously. iOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable software and key web-based services were not affected.”
The security flaw meant that servers could leak memory to malicious attackers, enabling hackers to steal logins and passwords and other supposedly private data from servers.
Many providers and internet firms have issued patches to fix the flaw in their services, but users of all the vulnerable internet majors, including those mentioned above, have been advised to change their passwords as soon as possible. Mashable has helpfully provided a list of the places where you should change your password right now. Warning: there are quite a few!
Amazon, eBay, PayPal and Microsoft are among the other services and organisations that have been given the all-clear.