A computer bug called “Heartbleed,” has forced another change of ACU login passwords. This is the same bug that forced all students, staff and faculty on campus to change their ACU-login password for precautionary reasons last October.
ACU’s technology department placed a warning on the myACU homepage to alert faculty and students and encourage them to take caution in case Heartbleed emails them for personal information.
Heartbleed has not attacked the ACU server, but its attempts to acquire personal information, such as passwords, credit card information and emails is enough to require password changes.
Kaileb Holland, junior information technology major from Houston, believes the bug could be harmful to openSSL library, which is responsible for about two-thirds of online servers, and is a cryptographic protocol that secures data exchanged between websites and servers.
Many people may know the server name “https://” which is what openSSL runs out of. ACU, however, does not use the openSSL library.
“It does not really pertain to ACU at all,” Holland said. “It only affects web servers that are openSSL. ACU’s tech department did a great job in preventing any harm to students, staff and faculty by taking the appropriate measures.”
Some students complained recently about having to change their ACU login password. Now, students know the importance of ACU’s choice to require the password change.
“I’ve heard about the Heartbleed threat a while ago and if it posed threats to such large companies, I’m happy to change my password,” Blake McAnally senior information technology major and Abilene native said.
Heartbleed has since made national news according to a story from James Lyne, a contributor to Forbes’ magazine website. Lyne said the bug has tricked the popular search engine, Yahoo!, which is no longer vulnerable to the attacks.
The Heartbleed bug was originally found by Google’s Neel Mehta, a Google security researcher. He recently donated the $15,000 he was awarded for finding the bug to The Freedom of the Press Foundation.
TFPF attempts to support open-source encryption tools. They strive to discover bugs within servers across the world to ensure an online user’s protection.
“ACU has done an exceptional job in fighting bugs such as Heartbleed, and I’m sure they will continue their efforts in keeping our campus safe,” Holland said.