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Free Chinese VPN exposed millions of users’ data

Free VPN leak includes users' IDs, IP addresses and domain names (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)

A free VPN service aimed at Chinese users has been found guilty of exposing over 5.7 billion data entries. An investigation by Cybernews(opens in new tab) revealed Airplane Accelerates apps – whose Chinese version counts over 3,000 reviews on the App Store only – leaked a staggering amount of users’ personal information, including user IDs, IP addresses, domain names and timestamps.

Being the app available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, researchers believe that at least tens or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of users in China could have been affected.

Worse than a typical data breach

“This leak is significant, because the leaked data could be used to de-anonymize and track the users of this app,” said Aras Nazarovas, the Cybernews researcher who led the investigation. “Analysis of the Android app also shows that it is capable of functioning as spyware, and has remote code execution capabilities.”

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