A free VPN service targeted at Chinese users was found to have exposed over 5.7 billion data entry.
An investigation by (opens in new tab), revealed that Airplane Accelerates apps, whose Chinese version has over 3,000 reviews on App Store, leaked an astonishing amount of users’ personal data, including user IDs, addresses and domain names, timestamps, and timestamps.
Researchers believe that the app is available for Windows, MacOS and Android.
This is worse than a normal data breach
Aras Nazarovas (Cybernews researcher), said that this leak was significant because it could allow the hackers to track and de-anonymize the users. “Analysis also showed that the Android app can function as spyware and has remote code execution capabilities.”
Researchers discovered a disturbingly high number of permission requests executed from the AndroidVPN app. These include accessing camera and audio recording to altering contacts, external storage, and even installing new software.
Nazarovas explained that while Antivirus apps don’t detect the app as malicious, their analysis raises significant red flags.
Cybernews reached AP Network PTY Ltd – the Australia-based company behind the free VPN service – one month ago when the leak was discovered. They decided to publish their findings because they are of high public interest.
VPN danger free
This is just one example of the dangers associated with using a free VPN service for online security.
You could be tracked by malicious ads or have your personal information exposed. Or worse, your device may be infected with malware viruses. The price you pay for data security over the long-term might be higher.
Sometimes, it can also be problematic to find out who owns the free services. Top10VPN conducted an investigation on 30 of the most popular apps in Google Play. It found that 59% had Chinese ownership.
Cybernews stated that VPN apps could expose the internet usage of those who live in China. To keep our China VPN updated, we only recommend the most reliable services at the moment.
Privacy is not the only thing that matters. Free VPNs often have trouble unlocking streaming sites’ catalogs and providing faster connections, which can lead to poor performance overall.