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Mitigation Instructions for CVE-2014-0160

SUBJECT: CVE-2014-0160 OpenSSL Information Disclosure Vulnerability

TECH STACK: OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f

DATE(S) ISSUED: 04/07/2014



CVE-2014-0160, also known as the "Heartbleed" vulnerability, is a security vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic software library. It allows an attacker to access sensitive information, such as passwords and encryption keys, from the memory of affected systems.

The vulnerability exists in the way that OpenSSL handles a specific type of data called a "heartbeat" message. An attacker can send a malicious heartbeat message to an affected system and potentially access sensitive information from the system's memory.

The vulnerability affects all versions of OpenSSL prior to 1.0.1g, and it was discovered and disclosed in April 2014.



CISA has added CVE-2014-0160 to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence that threat actors are actively exploiting the vulnerability. This vulnerability is a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors of all types and poses significant risk to the federal enterprise. 


Exploit code is publicly available for this vulnerability. Additional details may be found in CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#720951.


Base Score: 7.5 HIGH

Vector:  CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:N/A:N


To patch the Heartbleed vulnerability (CVE-2014-0160) in OpenSSL, you will need to update to a fixed version of the software. The fixed version of OpenSSL is 1.0.1g or later.

Here are the steps to update OpenSSL on a Unix-based system (such as Linux or macOS):

  1. Check the version of OpenSSL that is currently installed on your system. You can do this by running the following command:

$ openssl version

  1. If the version of OpenSSL that is installed on your system is vulnerable to the Heartbleed vulnerability (i.e., it is a version prior to 1.0.1g), you will need to update to a fixed version.
  2. Download the latest version of OpenSSL from the official website (https://www.openssl.org/source/).
  3. Extract the downloaded file using the following command:

$ tar xzf openssl-1.X.X.tar.gz

**Replace "1.X.X" with the version number of the downloaded file.

  1. Change to the extracted directory using the following command:

$ cd openssl-1.X.X

  1. Configure the OpenSSL build using the following command:

$ ./config

  1. Build and install OpenSSL using the following commands:

$ make

$ make install

These commands will build and install the latest version of OpenSSL on your system, which should include a fix for the Heartbleed vulnerability.

It is important to note that you will need to have administrator privileges on the system to install the updated version of OpenSSL.

In addition to updating OpenSSL, it is also recommended to change any passwords and encryption keys that may have been compromised as a result of the vulnerability. It is also a good idea to follow best practices for securing systems and networks, including implementing strong passwords and keeping systems up-to-date with the latest security patches.


OpenSSL Security Advisory

The Heartbleed Bug

CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#720951

Perfect Forward Secrecy

RFC2409 Section 8 Perfect Forward Secrecy

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