The heartbleed vulnerability is not only a catastrophic security issue, it also spans other interesting topics.

The first obvious lesson, is that the communication around the vulnerability was brilliant marketing.

The other lesson, less satisfying, is why is the majority of the internet relying on a very poorly funded project?!

The Washington Post published an article that misses the real issue. The heartbleed debacle is not an issue with the fact that OpenSSL is Free Software (the Apple goto fail bug shows it’s even worse when it’s proprietary--all Apple users had to wait several days before a patch was sent), nor with the fact that the Internet have no single authority (if anything, the openssl library is a single point of failure).

I find it astonishing that OpenSSL is so poorly funded and apparently lacks a governance strategy that includes large stakeholders such as the major websites making use of the library and which, instead, are essentially all irresponsible free-riders.

The real issue here is one of responsibility.

XKCD has an amazingly simple explanation of how the vulnerability works.