The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now known as the “Heartbleed” bug, and regularly used the flaw to gather critical intelligence, according to a Bloomberg report.
The decision to keep the bug “secret” in pursuit of national security interests “threatens to renew the rancorous debate over the role of the government’s top computer experts,” the report suggests.
Heartbleed is apparently one of the biggest glitches in the history of the internet, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites.
The discovery and subsequent patch five days ago results in millions of consumers changing passwords.
Vanee Vines, an NSA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the agency’s knowledge or use of the bug.
Read more: Bloomberg