Is Your VPN Vulnerable to Spyware?

A recent report indicates that a popular VPN may be delivering Iranian spyware to its users. The original report was created by Bitdefender, one of the world’s foremost private security companies. It has shed new light on the vulnerability of VPNs to spyware.

The Iranian Spyware VPN Scandal

According to Bitdefender, the 20Speed VPN is the most popular VPN based in Iran. It is used by many citizens of the country. It should also be noted that Iran does not have a stellar record when it comes to Internet freedom. For more than 20 years, Iran has exerted strict control over Internet content with various bans.

Those who travel to the region for work or other reasons are often forced to use a VPN in order to access the web services that they use at home. This can include communication apps which allow them to speak with family while they are abroad.

Many Iranians are also forced to use VPNs for access to blocked ISPs. The danger is that many of the websites accessible in Iran which claim to offer VPN service are outright scams. At the worst, the sites are under government control and looking to catch violators of the country’s Internet laws. This appears to have been the case with 20Speed VPN.

Working From Home Puts More People At Risk

Since 2020 there have been more people working from home thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that more people have been forced to turn to VPN use. Using a VPN for home work environments is sometimes even mandated by employers of remote workers because of safety concerns.

Ironically, this push to work at home may have led to the exact things that a VPN is supposed to prevent. Specifically, some employers have developed software that can be used to monitor workers at home. An example of such software is Second Eye. It was developed in Iran and provides screen recording, logging keystrokes, and live screen viewing.

20Speed VPN – A Front for Spyware

It is believed that 20Speed VPN was utilized to deliver the Second Eye spyware to the devices of unsuspecting users. Thinking they were using a regular VPN, users were serving up loads of personal data to employers or other individuals.

We must specify that Second Eye is a legitimate monitoring application. It was the actions of 20Speed VPN that are called into question in this case. The company simply used the software to monitor its VPN users.

Imagine all of those people sitting there with no idea that their Internet activities were being monitored. Think of something similar was happening to you. We all probably have some Internet secrets that are best left hidden.

Could Something Similar Happen Elsewhere?

An obvious question in this case is whether a similar occurrence could happen elsewhere in the world. After all, Iran does have a pretty bad record for Internet privacy. The fact that it did happen in Iran isn’t surprising, but other countries also take a hard line where the Internet is concerned.

China is one that comes to mind. India is another. Both of them have fought extended battles with VPN technology and attempts to control Internet access. It is not hard to see a situation where these governments would create VPN companies as a front for spyware.

There are also those who contend that the US is not above using such measures. Even worse, they might be more likely to hide the fact than some other countries.

How to Avoid Spyware VPNs

There are a few things you can do to avoid a VPN that is vulnerable to spyware. The first thing is to only use a trusted company such as VPN Accounts. We have been in business for many years. We do not log or otherwise track user data.

Another important thing to remember is obtaining VPN service before you arrive in another country. Once you get there you may find that some legitimate VPN services are blocked.

Why Paying for a VPN Matters

Finally, stay away in all cases from VPNs that are offered or promoted as free. There really is no such thing as a free VPN. Some of them make money from selling user data to third parties.

That doesn’t mean that you will need to pay an exorbitant amount for your service. We have very reasonable rates. It is a small price to pay when compared to the cost of overcoming identity theft or other issues using a VPN might be able to prevent.

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