A dangerous security flaw has been found lets hackers and malware bypass the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of these browsers. SSL is a very common security feature that protects the privacy and integrity of information as it's sent between your browser and a server. The Heartbleed bug also let hackers walk right through SSL.
This bug also has an ominous name: BERserk. The BER stands for Basic Encoding Rules. It was discovered by Intel's Advanced Threat Research team and a French cybersecurity expert. Hopefully this won't get overshadowed by the also very dangerous Shellshock vulnerability, which was announced the same day.
BERserk is just as dangerous. It's present in all previous versions of Firefox and Chrome, although there is no evidence that it's been exploited for malware attacks yet. That's good news, because it's very easy to fix this problem. In fact, you may have already fixed it!
Both Firefox and Chrome have proven very good and very fast at fixing these kinds of security issues. There's already a patch out for both browsers that completely seals the leak. Your browser may have even updated automatically. If you have Firefox version 32.0.3 or Chrome version 37.0.2062.124, you're safe. It's easy to check which version you have:
Firefox: Click the three horizontal lines in the top right to bring up the menu. Then click the little question mark at the bottom of the pop-up menu. Click "About Firefox." You'll see your version right there. Also, if Firefox is out of date, just opening this window will automatically start the update process. Neat!
Chrome: Check out the three horizontal lines in the top right. If you're browser is out of date, these will be orange or red. If they're orange or red, you'll see a line in the menu that says "Update Google Chrome." Click that. Easy!
I always, always keep my browsers up to date. You should too! If you don't know what browser you have or how to update it, click here to read a helpful tip.