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The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic software that protects a majority of the world's encrypted or "secure" sites. Encryption works by using "keys" (a number, or sequence of characters) to encode a sent message. The receiving computer uses the key to decrypt the message. If intercepted by a third party, the message should be unreadable.
Read the Globe's earlier coverage on the Heartbleed bug:
- Tax services may be offline until weekend because of Heartbleed bug
- Explainer: What the Heartbleed security bug means for you
- Video: Beating the Heartbleed bug