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Created: Jan 6, 2020
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Shining a Light on the Risks of HolaVPN and Lumina

Shining a Light on the Risks of HolaVPN and Luminati

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were created for a reason: secure internet access. And as the threat landscape continues to shift as the years progress, the reasons also increasingly grow. In a digital world riddled with privacy risks, data insecurity, and government restrictions and surveillance, VPNs serve as the internet user’s shield. After all, VPN services promise data encryption and anonymity. Through a VPN, a user can cloak his or her IP address and even sensitive financial data.unblock websites

But what if it is actually this shield that is hiding something from users? This is what we sought to uncover in our research on an unsafe VPN.

An unsafe VPN doesn’t do what it’s intended to do — which is to deliver an anonymous and secure way for users to go online.

VPNs that are infected with malware is one example. In 2017, researchers from Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. studied 234 VPN applications available on the Google Play Store. They discovered that more than a third of these apps used malware to track users’ online behavior.

There are also VPNs that leak IP addresses. In March 2018, a security researcher found that 17 out of 83 tested VPN clients leaked users’ IP addresses via their browsers. One of the 17 VPNs listed is HolaVPN, a popular VPN service by Hola Networks Ltd., which had also been observed stealing users’ bandwidth. It has been installed on millions of computers worldwide — users of its Google Chrome extension alone exceed 8 million.
The HolaVPN software is being marketed as a community VPN, meaning it claims to enable users to share their internet connections with other users in different parts of the globe. The goal? For users to access websites without fear of censorship and surveillance.

In 2015, 8chan was on the receiving end of a spam attack that rendered its website unusable for a few minutes. The attack, which was initiated by a popular spammer called “Bui,” helped expose how HolaVPN is selling its users as exit nodes via its sister company Luminati. Up until recently, Luminati’s use of HolaVPN exit nodes has been vague. What’s clear is that Luminati’s residential proxy network could attract unsavory users, threat actors that could abuse it for cybercriminal activity.

To gain a better understanding of how Luminati works, we wanted to get a detailed analysis of Luminati’s web traffic. The research data included 100 million URLs that were anonymously scanned through Trend Micro software.When comes to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432

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