NordVPN announced that one of its servers was hacked in March by 2018, exposing the browsing habits of customers using the VPN service to avoid exposing their personal data.
NordVPN says the affected server is located in Finland and does not contain any logs, usernames or passwords. However, the attacker could see the activity of internet users during a connection, although according to the company the content of the sites would probably be encrypted.
In recent years, NordVPN has become very popular on the internet due to a very aggressive advertising campaign. You will often see NordVPN ads and publications. Everyone claims that it is a super duper safe company, although we all know there is no online security.
The company promotes its product as a very reliable way to keep your online life private, but server breaches may pose new potential customers.
Of course the company is trying to downplay the fact. Tom Okman, a company executive, told TheVerge:
Attackers could only have compromised this server to track traffic and see which web pages they were browsing and not the content, only the webpage - for a limited time, and only in this isolated area.
Okman said that NordVPN usually changes the server that each user logs on to every five minutes, but users can choose the country to which they connect. This means that users would have been affected for minimal periods of time.
Details of the breach began circulating over the weekend by security investigators. In one Publication on the company's blog this morning, NordVPN said it had been aware of the breach for "a few months", but did not immediately disclose the problem because it wanted to control other systems…
According to the company, the violation was limited to a single server.
The server was vulnerable between January 31 January 2018 and March 20 2018, but NordVPN believes it was breached only once, in March.
The attack did not affect any other data centers, the company said, and that it stopped cooperating with the company that provided them with that server.
Can a breach be as painless as the company describes?
Okman says the company does not believe that information has been leaked, and that NordVPN will inform its customers of the email infringement, something it should have done months ago.
"I wouldn't call this a hack", Said Okman. "It's an isolated security breach - hack is a very powerful word in this case. "