The primary thing that comes to mind when mentioning a VPN is the security and anonymity of the private data. Is it really so? You can read about VPN services for Canada and find out the answer. Anyway, keep reading the article and become more aware of what can help you be protected online.
When you need to get access to the corporate network, to transfer important data via open communication channels, hide personal traffic from the provider’s watchful eyes, hide a real location, people usually use VPN. Is it worth to blindly rely on these services, when transferring your data? Probably not. Why? Let’s figure it out.
Why We Need VPN
A virtual private network is a common name for technologies that allow you to provide one or several network connections over another net, such as the Internet. Despite the fact that connection can be performed through public networks with a low level of trust, the cryptography tools (encryption, authentication, public key infrastructure) could make it safe. As you can see, everything is nice in theory, but in practice, everything is a bit different. In this article, we will look at two main points that need to be taken into account when using a VPN.
VPN Traffic Leak
The first challenge with virtual private networks is info leaks. The info that must be transmitted via the VPN connection in an encoded form enters the network in the clear. This scenario is not a consequence of an error in the server. Everything is much more interesting here. The simplest option is a sudden disconnect of the VPN. You decided to scan the host or subnet using Nmap, started the scanner, moved a few minutes away from the monitor, and then the connection suddenly fell off. But the scanner continues to work. And the scan is coming from your address. This is such an unpleasant situation. But there are scenarios and more interesting. For example, traffic leaks are widespread on networks (on hosts) that support both versions of the IP protocol (so-called dual-stacked networks/hosts).
When VPN connections are based on PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), users are authenticated using MS-CHAPv2 protocol developed by Microsoft. Despite the fact that MS-CHAPv2 is outdated and very often becomes the subject of criticism, it continues to be actively used. The famous researcher Moksi Marlinspike reported that the goal had been achieved at the twentieth conference of the DEF CON – the protocol was hacked
In 1999, in his study of the PPTP protocol, Bruce Schneier pointed out that “Microsoft improved PPTP by fixing major security flaws. However, the fundamental weakness of authentication and protocol encryption is that it is as secure as the password chosen by the user.” However, this is not the only problem with our Internet safety.
The Decryption of VPN Traffic
Even if you configured everything correctly and your info does not leak to the network in the open form – this is not a reason to relax. The thing is that if someone intercepts the encrypted data transmitted via a VPN connection, he will be able to decrypt it. And it does not matter if your password is complicated or simple. If you use a connection based on PPTP, then certainly we can say that all leaked encoded data can be decrypted.
It happens that the VPN is associated with safety. People use VPN when they want to protect their info from the provider`s curious eyes, change their real geographical position, and so on. In fact, it happens that info can “leak” in a clear way, or the encoded traffic can be quickly decrypted. All this reminds us that we shouldn`t blindly rely on guarantee of complete anonymity and security. As they say, trust but verify. There are a lot of reliable VPN Services which take all the mentioned above to the account. So be conscious and make sure your connection is truly secure and anonymous.