May 2020 has seen cybersecurity researchers discover a new VPN hack exploit that affects four of the world’s top VPNs.
Is the VPN you are using 100% secure? If you are using a secure VPN, you can rest assured that your data and personal privacy while online is still secure.
Here, though, we’ll look at what VPN services are susceptible to the new hack. More importantly, we’ll look at how 2020’s latest VPN exploit works.
This VPN Hack Might Expose You to Ransomware Attacks
According to cybersecurity researchers at VPNpro, a major security flaw exists in VPN client software made available by four of the world’s top VPN providers. Namely, PrivateVPN, Betternet, CyberGhost, and Hotspot Shield.
How the new VPN exploit works is simple.
According to VPNpro researchers, hackers can easily intercept data sent from devices using affected VPNs, when devices connect to unsecured wifi hotspots.
Worse, researchers also claim that attackers can use this exploit to install malicious software on user devices.
- VPNpro researchers were able to harvest data sent to VPN servers after VPN users went online using ‘ evil twin ’ (fake) wifi hotspots.
- As well as harvesting VPN network traffic, it is possible for hackers to directly communicate with VPN client software backends.
- By communicating with software backends, it is possible for hackers to convince VPN clients to install malicious code in the guise of critical software updates.
Thankfully, two of the four VPN services susceptible to the VPNpro hack exploit have since begun rolling out updates to patch vulnerabilities. However, CyberGhost and Hotspot Shield have instead disputed VPNpro’s research.
Is Your Device Susceptible to the VPNpro VPN Hack?
The VPN hack vulnerability discovered by VPNpro is worrying for several reasons.
Many people use VPNs to stay safe when going online via unsecured wi-fi hotspots. The fact that doing so may not keep users 100% safe undermines the use case of VPNs.
Being able to convince VPN clients to install malicious code, also puts VPN users at risk of ransomware attacks.
Thankfully, there are ways that VPN users can stay safe, even in light of VPNpro’s
- If you are using a VPN that is susceptible to the new VPN hack, either update your software or consider using an alternative.
- Wherever possible, try not to use public wifi hotspots that you are not 100% sure are safe.
- Make sure to use a firewall and anti-virus that is up to date with all the latest ransomware and PC malware definitions.
If In Doubt, Consider a Secure VPN
Like the Nord VPN hack of 2019, providers of some VPN services that are susceptible to the VPNpro hack are trying to sweep the issue under the carpet.
This being the case, if you are using a VPN that is possible to exploit, it is worth looking for an alternative like PureVPN which we have been using.
Online freelancer, owner of Shielded VPN and long time website creator and designer. Happily married man and father of two amazing boys.