If you thought that you can avoid all that mass surveillance by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), think again. A study shows that even the VPNs leak user information.
Of course it does make it hard for law enforcement agencies to monitor people, but it does not prevents them from accessing the required information. VPNs are currently used by approximately 20 per cent of the European internet users.
A recent study discovered after researching 14 most popular VPNs in the market. They found out that at least 11 of them leaked user information due to the vulnerability which is known as the IPv6 leakage.
The leaked information consisted of various things, such as a user interacting with a website, for instance leaving a comment, or replying to comments on forums. No financial information was leaked.
The primary reason for this leak, is due to the new protocol used by the network operators, which is called the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). This version replaces the previous protocol version 4 (IPv4). And you guessed it right, many VPNs were designed to protect IPv4 users.
Gareth Tyson, the co-author of this study from Queen Mary University of London said that “There are a variety of reasons why someone might want to hide their identity online and it’s worrying that they might be vulnerable despite using a service that is specifically designed to protect them.”
Furthermore “We’re most concerned for those people trying to protect their browsing from oppressive regimes. They could be emboldened by their supposed anonymity while actually revealing all their data and online activity and exposing themselves to possible repercussions.”