This is a pretty serious problem so I’ll devote more space to another collection of tidbits from various sources.
EDITED TO ADD (4/9): Has anyone looked at all the low-margin non-upgradable embedded systems that use OpenSSL? An upgrade path that involves the trash, a visit to Best Buy, and a credit card isn’t going to be fun for anyone.
The fact is that no programmer is good enough to write code which is free from such vulnerabilities. Programmers are, after all, trained and skilled in following the logic of their program. But in languages without bounds checks, that logic can fall away as the computer starts reading or executing raw memory, which is no longer connected to specific variables or lines of code in your program. All non-bounds-checked languages expose multiple levels of the computer to the program, and you are kidding yourself if you think you can handle this better than the OpenSSL team.
We can’t end all bugs in software, but we can plug this seemingly endless source of bugs which has been affecting the Internet since the Morris worm. It has now cost us a two-year window in which 70% of our internet traffic was potentially exposed. It will cost us more before we manage to end it.
Ironic how the above link uses https. The Ars Technica article below has interesting screenshots.
For an idea of the type of information that remains available to anyone who knows how to use open source tools like this one, just consider Yahoo Mail, the world’s most widely used Web mail service. The images below were recovered by Mark Loman, a malware and security researcher with no privileged access to Yahoo Mail servers. The plaintext passwords appearing in them have been obscured to protect the Yahoo Mail users they belong to, a courtesy not everyone exploiting this vulnerability is likely to offer. To retrieve them, Loman sent a series of requests to servers running Yahoo Mail at precisely the same time as the credentials just happened to be stored—Russian roulette-style—in Yahoo memory.