ProtonVPN and NordVPN patched up vulnerabilities before they became known

best vpn services protonvpn interface
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Following the announcement from Cisco Talos that both NordVPN and ProtonVPN’s internet traffic obfuscating services were vulnerable to a newly discovered bug, both companies have come out with statements of their own to calm the fears of their users. It turns out that the respective flaws were patched out weeks ago, back when no one had heard anything about them.

The flaws in question piggybacked a patch applied by both companies to a bug discovered earlier this year. That April fix had its own flaw in it, according to ZDNet, which made it possible for a theoretical attacker to take control of the user’s system by exploiting the design of both NordVPN and ProtonVPN’s clients. Fortunately, those bugs were patched out well before the general public was made aware of them.

“The vulnerability described in their report no longer exists on our systems. When it did, it was completely undocumented and quite possibly unknown to anyone in the world,” NordVPN said on its blog. “When they discovered the CVE vulnerability in our and other VPN providers’ systems, Talos Intelligence, like all ethical security research firms, approached us with the news first before publishing it. They waited until we fixed the problem before publishing their findings to ensure that no VPN users were exposed to any additional risk.”

ProtonVPN released its own statement to ZDNet, claiming that the fix it has now implemented would eliminate all bugs of this type, but it will continue to investigate the issue to make sure.

Also of import is the fact that this particular exploit required hard access to a victim’s machine in the first place. That meant that even if this bug hadn’t been patched out, an attacker would have to have physical or remote access to the machine through a guest account or malware attack to execute the VPN exploit. As NordVPN pointed out in its blog post, if a hacker already has such access to a system, there are many other options they would have to further the attack. This exploit would merely be one extra attack vector.

With that in mind, this security breach wasn’t as damaging as some may have made out, but regardless, it’s good to see companies like NordVPN and ProtonVPN responding so swiftly to the problem.

If you want to make sure that your system is as protected as it can be, just run the updater within your VPN software to download the latest version if it hasn’t done so automatically.

For a look at some of our favorite VPNs, here’s our guide to the best.

Computing

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Gaming

Bethesda explains why ‘Fallout 76’ players using secret room are banned

Following a series of bans in Fallout 76 brought on by players entering a secret room in the game, Bethesda has explain exactly why these players' accounts have been temporarily deactivated.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Computing

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Computing

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.
Computing

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?