Bitstamp has turned off its account registration, login and virtual currency withdrawal functions as a temporary precaution against another internet security threat that has recently come to light.
The flaw, known as OpenSSL, allows users to steal information normally encrypted by SSL/TLS, such as passwords and credit card information. It is also known as the “Heart Bleed Bug”. It was recently jointly discovered by engineers at Codenomicon and Google and is described as follows:
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“The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.”
Those who have had information stolen by someone exploiting the bug will not find any trace of such, and may only find out when the stolen information comes back to haunt them.
Other major exchanges appear to be operating normally at this time.
While some users are appreciative of their information being kept secure, some are starting to get impatient and are pressing Bitstamp for an ETA.