Many big VPNs have glaring security problems

MacBook Keyboard
A new study to come out of the Sapienza University of Rome and Queen Mary University of London has found that a large number of commercial virtual private network (VPN) providers utilize systems that are wide open to attacks. The potential is there, the researchers say, for those using VPN services to have their browsing history and other Internet-related traffic viewed by external actors, without too much difficulty.

Of all the 16 services considered as part of the study, only one was protected from DNS hijacking. However even that one fell down when it came to IPv6-leaks, along with 13 of the other VPN companies.

vpns

To make matters worse, over half of the services looked into used the Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol with MS-CHAPv2 authentications, which, as TechReport points out, makes them vulnerable to brute force hacks.

These revelations are problematic for the VPN industry — and specifically the companies named and shamed — as their whole job is to obfuscate a user’s Internet traffic. If that is as obvious when using a VPN as without, then it’s technically worse to use one of these services, since those hoping to infiltrate their servers know that the person behind the traffic doesn’t want to be found.

This is also sad news for those that were hoping to hide their traffic from an overintrusive government. While some VPN providers would be unlikely to work directly with the authorities of any nation, the NSA and GHCQ have shown a penchant for hacking and the use of malware to garner information, so it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that some of these VPNs have been infiltrated by government organizations.

Do any of you use these VPN services? If so, do you plan to continue doing so after these revelations?

Emerging Tech

Would you swap your keycard for a microchip implant? For many, the answer is yes

Put down your keycard! More people are turning to implanted RFID chips as their choice of workplace identification. Should we be worried about a world in which employees get microchipped?
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.
Computing

An IP address vulnerability took down some Google services for 1 hour

It might have been for just a brief hour, but some of Google's services went down on November 12. Caused by an improper rerouting of IP addresses and traffic away from usual western sources, Spotify and Google Cloud were impacted.
Computing

M4A is great for quality, but not for storage. Here's how to convert to MP3

Despite its remarkable ability to retain audio fidelity at a smaller size, M4a files aren't the best when it comes to compatibility. Check out our basic guide on how to convert M4a files to MP3.
Computing

Microsoft drops Surface Go price to $350 for Black Friday week

The Microsoft Surface Go convertible tablet has seen a large price drop this Black Friday sales season, lowering the base model to $350 and even the upgraded ones have seen $50 knocked off of their asking price.
Computing

Razer takes up to $500 off of its Blade gaming laptops for Black Friday

If you're a fan of Razer's understated aesthetics that earned the Blade comparisons with Apple's laptops, you can score some big savings on Black Friday, as Razer is offering up to $500 discounts off of its gaming notebooks.
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Computing

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Buying Guides

Solid-state drives are speedier than hard disk drives. Are they worth it?

As the price of solid-state drives comes down, it's reached a point where it's hard to recommend a system without at least a hybrid solution. In the battle of SSD vs. HDD, a clear winner has emerged.
Computing

Service restored after glitch locks out Microsoft Office 365 business users

Microsoft reported that a problem with its system caused some users to be locked out of their accounts. Because the multifactor authentication system went down globally, some Office 365 and Azure users were unable to log in.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Deals

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…