As the Heartbleed bug continues to create well-deserved panic and fear, you might find yourself asking: well, didn’t our government know about? The answer is Yes; but unfortunately their response to learning of the nefarious threat wasn’t what people would have expected.
The fear people are experiencing over this bug is the result of not knowing whether or not their usernames, passwords, key strokes, credit card numbers or other data were stolen. And it has left people paranoid over the security of their data and identity. Learn just how bad the consequences of identity theft can be.
So They Knew?
According to a report by Bloomberg, the NSA purportedly knew about the bug for 2 years. And not only did they know about the bug, but they used it collect information, utilizing one of the Heartbleed bug’s most frightening features: it’s stealth. When the Heartbleed bug strikes, it does so without leaving a single solitary trace. There is no way to find out if the bug has infiltrated your computer or stolen your data. That is, not until you find your credit card number being used without your consent.
Theories abound right now about just how much the NSA knew about the bug. In light of the NSA leaks, it wouldn’t appear to be too big of a stretch to imagine the Heartbleed bug used to obtain much of that information. Some conspiracy theorists have even gone so far as to suggest that the NSA created the bug for precisely this use.
The Bloomberg report states that the NSA, should it have “known” about the bug, would have reported it to the public–unless that is, it was a matter of dire national security. And of course the NSA has vehemently denied all of these allegations, and as Bloomberg has yet to reveal its source, we have only speculation at this time.
What strikes us most concerning about the NSA’s awareness is that, if they indeed did know about and utilized the bug–and effectively allowed the pernicious use of the bug by hackers by not reporting it–they did so in the interests of protecting national security. But what could be more in the interests of national security than securing the super sensitive information of the hundreds of millions that make up the nation?