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NSA denies exploiting 'Heartbleed' vulnerability

A student from an engineering school attends the first edition of the Steria Hacking Challenge, in France, on March 16, 2013The US National Security Agency on Friday denied a report claiming it was aware of and even exploited the “Heartbleed” online security flaw to gather critical intelligence. The stern denial came amid growing panic among Internet users the world over about the newly exposed flaw, after a report by Bloomberg News said the spy agency decided to keep quiet about the matter and even used it to scoop up more data, including passwords. “NSA was not aware of the recently identified vulnerability in OpenSSL, the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability, until it was made public in a private-sector cybersecurity report,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in an email. “Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong,” White House national security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

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