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Security The Almighty Buck

Heartbleed Pricetag To Top $500 Million? 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-tag dept.
darthcamaro (735685) writes "The Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability has dominated IT security headlines for two weeks now as the true impact the flaw and its reach is being felt. But what will all of this cost? One figure that has been suggested is $500 million, using the 2001 W.32 Nimda worm as a precedent. Is that number too low — or is it too high?"
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Heartbleed Pricetag To Top $500 Million?

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  • Re:Low (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes (679165) on Monday April 21, 2014 @10:15AM (#46805823)
    True - being able to manage your browser recognized CAs should be a core function of IT anyways, along with cert replacements. The real cost will be born by customers who largely are unschooled and don't know enough to install new CAs (the worst case scenario where CA certs are replaced across the board and no SSL/TLS CA certs are valid.) On the other hand, it might be enough to do a quick browser check and get them to finally upgrade to a decent browser version that does include the latest CAs. Which, in retrospect, will wind up being a zero-cost item since they should be doing this anyways.
  • by SydShamino (547793) on Monday April 21, 2014 @10:33AM (#46806029)

    NPR this morning mentioned that, in all of 2013, OpenSSL received just $2000 in donations that they could use for "maintenance of the code base" work. (All of their other income was earmarked for specific work for specific customers.)

    Funny enough, they said they've gotten some $10,000 this year, in the last few weeks, though note that most of this is small donations from other countries. There's no indication yet that any of the big U.S. corps most affected by this want to pony up the cash for a full security audit, though maybe some have employees working on it internally (for their own servers' versions, or maybe to share upstream).

    I liked the analogy made in the NPR story, that OpenSSL is like public works infrastructure, except it has no tax authority for maintenance income. Not that I think paying for software should be mandatory, but hopefully some people will decide that, even when they don't have to pay "tax" on something, sometimes it's in their best interest to do so.

  • by Dan Askme (2895283) on Monday April 21, 2014 @11:03AM (#46806353) Homepage

    Quote from http://www.inferse.com/14435/h... [inferse.com]

    Heartbleed was introduced into the OpenSSL software library by 31-year-old Robin Seggelmann, a Frankfurt, Germany developer who says that it was likely introduced while he was working on OpenSSL bug fixes around two years ago. “I was working on improving OpenSSL and submitted numerous bug fixes and added new features. In one of the new features, unfortunately, I missed validating a variable containing a length.” The error was also missed by a reviewer responsible for double-checking the code, “so the error made its way from the development branch into the released version,” Seggelmann said.

    Cost to fix? free.
    Cost to roll out? 1 trillion dollars, because the companies like to milk every excuse in the book.

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