Most of us probably assume that if we are using a virtual private network (VPN) either at home or at the office, we are completely safe from hackers. After all, who can hack a supposedly encrypted network?
Well, it turns out that not all VPNs use the same technology, and some of this technology can be hacked by a new device called CloudCracker.
Some VPNs use a protocol called PPTP, or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol. Microsoft developed PPTP because it could be easily used out of the box for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux machines, as well as smartphones and tablets.
Many security experts have long known that PPTP has security flaws. But many people were surprised this past July when a researcher named Moxie Marlinspike was able to crack authenticated VPNs within a day using a tool called CloudCracker.
Without getting too technical, Marlinspike was able to use CloudCracker to intercept network packers and figure out authentication codes for PPTP VPNs.
And while it takes $200 and a relatively experienced hacker to make it work, the point is that it’s possible. Plus, these tools will only get better and cheaper.
If you currently have a VPN that uses PPTP, you should change it as soon as possible. Even Microsoft has come out and recommended that users should no longer use PPTP.
You can rest assured that Private WiFi uses OpenVPN as its underlying technology.
OpenVPN is open-source software that uses VPN techniques to create secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections in routed or bridged configurations and remote access facilities. OpenVPN is a widely used technology, and is considered highly secure and efficient.
If you are using PPTP on your home or office VPN, the odds are likely that no one will hack into your network. But why take that chance? If you are using a VPN, make sure that you are using one that actually protects your data and sensitive information.