YOU CAN'T TRUST ANYONE. It turns out that some Android software that you might have downloaded to protect your privacy isn't worth the code it is made of, and could contain viruses and spyware and may not even be encrypting your traffic.
People turn to VPNs because they cannot trust the average web. If you can't trust a VPN it is like not being able to trust a copper or something. Well, maybe not a copper, but perhaps a fake DVD seller.
A study by researchers in the US and Australia (PDF) has found that a whole load of Android so-called VPN apps are just shit. A report on the Australian ABC news site says that of the 283 apps analysed by the researchers, 38 per cent contained malware or malvertising. One in five didn't even encrypt traffic.
"The findings are alarming and showing some very, very serious security and privacy issues," said one the the Australian researchers, Dr Dali Kaafar.
"If they embed some malware that means that particular malware can see all the other traffic that is originating from your device. Your [usernames and passwords] can be seen by this particular app and that's a very critical, very sensitive security issue."
Kaafar does not have much good to say about the VPNs that are out there, and was particularly appalled at the lack of encryption. |That's a huge security hole to not be encrypting that traffic," he said.
"Consider that as your network being completely naked out in the wild so everyone can see it if you're sending on the internet or when you're connecting to a hotspot WiFi."
A list of the 10 "worst" providers is, um. provided. Five of them are no longer active, but the remaining ones are and at least one of them has been downloaded at least a million times. That one is called One Click and has a ranking on Google Play of 4.3 out of a possible 5.
The other named apps are Betternet, CrossVpn, Archie VPN, and Fast Secure Payment. You have been warned. µ
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