Technology Companies Team Up to Prevent Another Heartbleed Heartbreak
The Heartbleed bug broke the hearts of many a programmer. It also drew attention to the fact that few programmers had the time to scan the widely used open source software to find the bug that was discovered more than two years after its creation. Now, the Linux Foundation and several big names in technology including Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are providing support to fix the bug.
The Heartbleed bug existed in a piece of open source software called OpenSSL. The Apache and nginx, open source web servers for about half a million websites, used OpenSSL. That software was also used in a wide variety of websites from Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) to Reddit. Even operating systems like certain versions of the Android software on mobile devices and some Linux operating systems were affected too.
Getting rid of the open source software was not an option since it is so widely used in a variety of programming-based applications. Open source software is something that Internet users come across every day via websites and other programs, part of why the Heartbleed bug affected such a large portion of the Internet. Web browser Mozilla Firefox is open source software. Entire libraries of open source software are available to programmers via GitHub, which were also affected by the Heartbleed bug.
Now, the companies behind some affected software are banding together to prevent another Heartbleed bug by creating and funding the Core Infrastructure Initiative, a multimillion dollar investment in open source software as opposed to depending on the free work of programmers when they had the time to spare.