Seven Hong Kong VPN providers accused of exposing private user data

Joanna Estrada
August 2, 2020

The user data of seven Hong Kong based VPN providers has been leaked online. Now according to the latest report coming from vpnMentor, seven VPN (Virtual Private Network) in total have leaked 1.2TB user information. They reached out to the various VPN services involved and while some of them did not respond, others stated after several days that the issue had been fixed. The UFO VPN team also stated that the VPN service keeps anonymized data logs to monitor traffic. The Comparitech report states that data of almost 20 million users (both free and paid) amounting to 894GB was leaked.

Incidents of hacking and data leak are increasing while we stay at home and spend more time connecting with everyone virtually. The server is being shared by over seven free VPN providers and failed to safeguard their server online. The VPN apps include UFO VPN, FAST VPN, Free VPN, Super VPN, Flash VPN, Secure VPN and Rabbit VPN-most of which were used in Kashmir during the internet blockade.

Discovered by the research team at vpnMentor, the massive database of information was being exposed through an Elasticsearch server that had no security measures.

These providers are white labels that are rebranding services from a common provider, the report added.

When you use a VPN service, you're trusting it with the same data that your internet service provider would typically collect.

There is certainly a chance that the new law will put pressure on Apple, Google and other app store operators to remove any apps that don't have official approval or which contravene the new regulations.

When the concerns of data storage and privacy breach are at an all-time high following the compromised Twitter accounts of famous personalities across the world, there is another breach of privacy and data localization that has not gone unnoticed.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region from China.

Data leaks of such nature may hamper this.

The data exposed online amounted to 1.207 TB.

Opening up, the database within the exposed server contained about one billion records from 20 million users, as researchers claimed. While it's unclear how much of the info was made public, this could easily leave the VPN firms' customers scrambling to switch providers and change login details.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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