TV-6 Investigates: Heartbleed Bug And Local Banks - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

TV-6 Investigates: Heartbleed Bug And Local Banks

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TV-6 investigates a new computer security bug.

It's called Heartbleed.

The problem is simple enough, web sites using a free version of a code making device they thought was secure.

They now know there's been a way to crack that code and read coded information.

Things like your passwords, and credit card information.

Software developers have already released a fix, but you can check web sites yourself at this link.

The Lastpass Heartbleed checker allows you to check a web site's security status.

TV-6 decided to check a couple of local banks.

RIA Federal Credit Union showed no issue.

However, the Lastpass reported potential vulnerability for Deere Harvester Credit Union and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union.

TV-6 Investigates asked each if their web sites are at risk.

"Nah, we're completely secure," says DHCU Chief Technology Officer Steve McAtee says as soon as he heard about Heartbleed, he started checking with his Internet suppliers.

"We've got multiple vendors and systems to protect member data and everything else, and as soon as this broke out I had all of them contacting me giving me a thumbs up for all the systems," says McAtee.

He says member's banking data isn't even kept on the web site. That's done on purpose.

"Our security is in layers, so member data isn't really on our web site, it's housed out in other areas of protection," says McAtee.

IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union says its web site is secure too.

"We do not use open sources SSL, so we're not susceptible to this particular Heartbleed bug," says Marketing Vice President Laura Ernzen.

She says financial institutions have to take computer security very seriously. They are dealing with our money after all, and computer thieves want in.

"We take fraud and our security very seriously, and none of our networks, our online banking, or our web site are affected, or will be vulnerable to this Heartbleed bug," says Ernzen.

There are still a lot of other web sites out there that may be affected, and they have to upgrade their software to fix the problem. Computer expert Edward Zipper says expect the worst, and stay aggressive with your online habits.

"I'm going to presume that anybody that was using open SSL was penetrated, so I've changed my bank password today, I've changed my email password, and those two items are separate from one another," says Zipper.

He says never have an email password be the same as a bank password.

"They can always click the forget password link, and they'll send you an email, if you use the same password in both places, they can take over your account."

That's prevented by maintaining separate passwords. Change them too. It's a pain, but it's a free way to help prevent computer fraud. If you do change your password, use capital letters, special characters like exclamation points, and don't use common words. Zipper says it'll pay off.

"We're all on our own when it comes down to this use a little common sense, and we'll be much better off."

Because as soon as one bug is discovered and fixed, there are always more to take its place.

If you're still not sure whether the web site you're using has been upgraded, call them.

Ask if they're using an open SSL.

If they are, ask if it has been upgraded.

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