Heartbleed 101

Heard of heartbleed? No it’s not a new not-for-profit, but its definitely something not-for-profits should pay attention to. Heartbleed is being called one of the biggest threats to internet security so far, so what does it mean for your organisation?


Heartbleed is the name of a flaw found in the extremely common security layer OpenSSL, which is an open-source project maintained by a small group of developers. OpenSSL is the most popular TSL’s (Transport system layer) and is designed to make websites trustworthy and recognisable to consumers and protect their privacy and transactions.

A flaw in this system – heartbleed-  now means that sensitive information can be easily exposed to those that go looking for it.

What can you do to protect yourself?

As an individual it’s simple – change your passwords. You may have started to receive notifications from internet giants asking you to change your passwords. For a full list of websites that have been compromised click here.

As a leader of an organisation, your IT department will need to update to the new version of OpenSSL, which is a fairly straight forward process. However, your organisation may not be using OpenSSL. If your organisation is too small to warrant an IT department, check if security has been breached with your web host or third parties you are collecting donor information through.

So why did heartbleed make headlines?

Heartbleed is considerd one of the biggest threats to internet security because it affected so many websites.  According to mashable, secure websites with “https” in the URL (“s” stands for secure) make up 56% of websites, and nearly half of those sites were vulnerable to the bug.

Brands like Google and Facebook knew of heartbleed before the public announcement on April 7 but many brands like Amazon, Twitter and Yahoo were none the wiser. It was also worrying for many tech leaders because it was impossible to tell if security had or has been breached. All that was clear was that the bug existed.

So who is behind heartbleed?

Source is unknown, however initial arrests have been made for those taking advantage of the breach.

What is known is who found it. Neel Mehta of Google security discovered heartbleed around March 21st. Since then, Facebook and Microsoft donate $US15,000 to Neel via the Internet Bug Bounty program. Mehta chose to gives the funds to the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

About Us

Hi, we’re ntegrity, an award winning digital agency in Melbourne, Australia. We specialise in digital strategy, digital marketing, and training, and aim to operate as an extension of your team.

You can read more about our story and team or explore what we offer.

7 awesome digital marketing tools you might not know about

New digital marketing tools are constantly popping up — it can be just as exciting as overwhelming. As a digital strategy agency, we…

4 reasons to intern with us

Want to learn from some of the sharpest digital minds in Melbourne?  Earlier this year, we spoke with two large…

The best email I received this month

Hi everyone, I’m Ophelie! I’m a digital strategist, teacher, knitting enthusiast and web nerd. I started as ntegrity’s Academy Lead…

It’s official: ntegrity is the Most Nominated Company in the history of the Women in Media Awards

This Friday night is the Fifth Annual B&T Women in Media Awards. In what’s become an exciting annual tradition, we’re…

A better way to skill up in Digital Marketing

Here’s the thing about Digital Marketing: it’s changing fast. Really, really fast. If you feel like you’re sometimes treading water,…

5 years on, here’s the lessons I’ve learned

It’s been 5 years since ntegrity began. Beginnings are equally exciting and scary; whether it’s a company, campaign, job or…


Digital Direction

Empowering Medela Australia to become the leading local subsidiary of their global brand

As the market-leader in breastfeeding products, Medela Australia approached us to help shape their digital direction and remain relevant to a new generation of mums.

View Case Study