U.S. Warns Business About 'Heartbleed' Computer Bug

The United States is warning businesses to be on alert for computer hackers trying to steal data exposed by a newly discovered glitch in Internet security.

A statement Friday from the Department of Homeland Security asked organizations to report any attacks related to the breakdown, known as the "Heartbleed" bug.

The glitch is in a vulnerable version of software known as OpenSSL, and potentially exposes millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to theft.

In a website message, the director of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Larry Zelvin, said there has not yet been any reported attacks from the bug, which was discovered earlier this week. However, he said it is still possible that malicious actors could exploit unpatched systems.

Canada's government on Friday ordered all its agencies to disable public websites that are susceptible to the Heartbleed bug until a security patch has been put in place.

Also Friday, the United States said it has charged nine people in a different cyber security breach. The Justice Department says the nine, including nationals from Ukraine and Russia, took part in a scheme that stole millions of dollars by hacking into online back accounts.

It said the suspects used a malware called "Zeus" to steal passwords, account numbers and other details to log into online banking accounts.

VOA News / Apr. 12, 2014 08:51 KST