The Heartbleed bug has potentially exposed the personal and professional info of millions of people, but users of Apple’s tablets should be relieved to learn that this security flaw isn’t incorporated into the iOS. Not all Android users can be as sanguine, however.
Most of the news about this flaw in OpenSSL has centered on the fact that it means websites weren’t as secure as they were thought to be, but some devices, including routers and other networking equipment made by Cisco, have the bug written into their programming.
Apple says its products are not one of these. “Apple takes security very seriously. iOS and OS X never incorporated the vulnerable software and key Web-based services were not affected,” an Apple spokesperson told Re/code.
However, Google has admitted that devices running Android 4.1.1 do have the Heartbleed bug. While Google has created a patch, users can not instal this directly — they have to wait for the maker of their tablet or phone to create a version for their own products.
Android 4.1.1 is not the latest version of this operating system, and those running newer versions do not have the bug, according to Google.
Those wishing to learn if their Android device is affected can install a free app called Heartbleed Detector.
A Nearly Universal Problem
This doesn’t mean those who have an iPad, Windows tablet, or a device not running Android 4.1.1 can can forget about the bug… not at all. Even though their mobile devices aren’t directly affected, so many websites were that virtually anyone who has used the Internet on any computer in the past two years almost certainly has had some type of information put at risk.
Security experts are asking the public to change the passwords they use for all the websites that hold their personal information, from their bank to all their favorite online stores.
In addition, BlackBerry says that the BBM messaging app for Android and iOS has the Heartbleed bug, and the company is currently working on a fix.