IT Security and IPv6: VPN services from Steganos identify DNS hijacking network attacks

The VPN clients Steganos Online Shield VPN and OkayFreedom VPN can recognize DNS hijacking network attacks, and will warn VPN users of them. There are no data leaks via IPv6 when Steganos VPN products are used. This was announced by the Berlin-based IT security specialist Steganos Software after reports of security gaps in 14 VPN services gave rise to uncertainty.

IPv6-IPv4_von Thierry Ehrmann CC-BY-20

IPv6-IPv4_von Thierry Ehrmann CC-BY-20

“Neither Steganos Online Shield VPN, nor OkayFreedom VPN allow an unprotected IPv6 connection. Both applications immediately recognize DNS hijacking. Steganos customers can rest assured that our solutions are securely protecting them from hackers and data thieves,” said Gabriel F. Yoran, Managing Director of Steganos.

Doubts arose about the security of VPN clients when a number of relevant IT media cited a technical article which had been published in April 2015 by a joint research team from the universities of Rome and London. Within the scope of their project, the researchers had investigated the effect of IPv6 issues on VPN clients, and discovered shortcomings in all of the services they tested.

Up to now, IPv6 had played hardly any role in the daily practice of VPN users. Problems only arise when users have no detailed knowledge of whether they are using IPv6 when they’re online. This is the case in public hotspots for example.

“Here at Steganos, we don’t want our VPN users to have to worry about whether they’re using IPv4 or IPv6 on the Internet. That’s why, for the present, we decided to disallow IPv6 for the duration of any VPN connectivity. We’re already working on developing a sustainable solution which would allow IPv6 without compromising the security of the VPN connection.

 DNS hijacking is another attack scenario described by the researchers, which is unrelated to IPv6. If a hacker is able to trick the router and switch his own DNS server into the local network, he can not only see what pages the user is loading, but also mine and log data out of the actual VPN tunnel.

Steganos VPN products are capable of immediately identifying such DNS hijackings. The software enforces a specific DNS server for duration of the VPN connection and can therefore recognize whether there is another device on the local network within the same IP range of the Steganos DNS server.  If so, it assumes the local network is compromised. Steganos VPN products then disallow the VPN connection and warn the user.


Vacation Time With Your Smartphone: Safe and Anonymous Surfing With the VPN Apps From Steganos

Summer vacation is here. Your suitcases are packed and of course your mobile is coming along as your trusty travel companion. After all, having the Internet in your pocket or beach bag makes a lot of things easier when you’re on the road: posting your favorite snapshots to Facebook, picking the best routes in your maps app, or reserving a rental car for that daytrip. And because so many cafes, restaurants and hotels have public hotspots, it’s not even expensive. But be careful! WIFI access is often unencrypted, making it a popular point of attack for hackers and data thieves. That guy sitting at the table next to yours? He could be using the insecure connection to pry into your personal data like emails, passwords or chat protocols. The IT security specialist Steganos Software GmbH therefore recommends vacationers take action to protect themselves from attacks like this. How? With a VPN client like Steganos Online Shield for iOS and Android. Nice side effect: With an activated VPN app, you can even watch your favorite TV stations when you’re abroad.

"Belt of stories" by Andy Li is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Belt of stories” by Andy Li is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1SmZkNt)

“Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean that credit card thieves and email fraudsters are taking time off, too. On the contrary! You have to be particularly careful when you’re traveling. Everyone should take the initiative to protect themselves from snoops by installing the appropriate software on their mobile devices,” explains Gabriel F. Yoran, Managing Director of Steganos Software GmbH, a Berlin-based IT firm specialized in security solutions.

Once activated, a VPN client like Steganos Online Shield VPN establishes an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) on your smartphone or tablet. All of your traffic is routed through this data tunnel and thus hidden from prying eyes so that any hackers on the same wireless network cannot log your data. Plus, you are 2 also surfing anonymously if you use an activated VPN app. The software switches your IP address, thus hiding your identity. In addition, Steganos Online Shield VPN can identify other devices on the same WIFI. This means the app can quickly recognize and block any potential threats.

And for another annoyance on vacation, a VPN app like Steganos Online Shield VPN is an elegant solution: there might be a important game on at home, or your favorite show, and the hotel you’re staying at only shows regional TV stations. With a VPN app, you can toggle an IP address from the country of your choice when you go online, and thus navigate around any restrictive country settings to watch what you want to watch.

The installation of a VPN client can also protect mobile network users from data theft and online espionage. To minimize the number of potential security gaps for hackers, Steganos recommends updating your operating system and all apps before you leave on vacation. If you’re taking your laptop with you on your trip, you should also encrypt your hard drive. If it gets stolen, it can be located remotely, disabled, and all of the data on it can be deleted. Make sure to also bring along the customer service number of your mobile carrier and your bank so that telephones and credit cards can be quickly disabled and blocked if worse comes to worst. Despite all of these precautions, travellers on vacation should still try to avoid activities that could be critical to their security, such as online banking and shopping online.


(Deutsch) Öffentliches WLAN in Berlin: Berliner IT-Security-Profi Steganos schützt iOS-Nutzer vor Datenklau

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Surfing Safely at the Hotspot: Steganos Online Shield VPN Now Available as Mobile App for iOS

Today, Steganos presents an iOS version of its proven VPN software Steganos Online Shield VPN. The new app protects iPhones and iPads from hackers and data spies by enabling iOS users to surf using an encrypted mobile connection.

Steganos Online Shield VPN for iOS“Never have there been as many attacks on mobile devices as last year. Smart phones store private photos, contacts, passwords, mails as well as chats and connect through any WiFi network. Protection from data theft is more important than ever. In order to expand mobile security to an even wider audience, we are following up the Android version of our excellent Steganos Online Shield VPN with a version for iOS devices“, says Gabriel F. Yoran, founder and general manager of Steganos Software GmbH.

Steganos recommends: Anyone who wants to safely surf in public WiFi networks is best protected using an encrypted virtual private network (VPN). Steganos Online Shield for iOS VPN can now establish such a VPN on iPhones and iPads. Once activated, the app directs the entire data traffic flow through the secure Steganos server.

Additionally, the software hides user’s identity by exchanging the IP address. This makes it impossible for hackers and spies in the same network to obtain the user’s data. Regardless of whether the user is surfing at the office, the library, a café, the airport or train station, the encrypted connection protects data traffic flow of all apps. Steganos Online Shield VPN for iOS also identifies other devices in the WiFi network; potential hackers and spies are thus blocked. This is how all WiFi networks are now made safe for iPhone and iPad users worldwide.

However, it is not only the use of unsecured WiFi hotspots that endangers digital privacy, but also the many apps that transfer unencrypted data traffic. This also holds the door wide open for hackers to the most sensitive data. Steganos Online Shield VPN for iOS also closes this glaring security hole via secure SSL/TLS encryption, regardless of whether the user is connected through a WiFi or wireless network (3G, 4G/ LTE, Edge, GPRS, etc.).

Steganos Online Shield VPN for iOS is free of advertisements and free of charge for up to 500 MB of data monthly. Steganos Online Shield VPN Premium allows unlimited data volume and includes protection for up to five devices (Windows, iOS, Android). Steganos Online Shield VPN Premium is available directly in iTunes as a year’s license for an introductory price of 24.99 $ or as a monthly subscription for 2.99 $.

Steganos Online Shield VPN for iOS: Features

  • Protection of every internet connection with secure SSL/TLS encryption
  • Protection from password theft and recording of chats and e-mails in the same WiFi network
  • Protection of user’s IP address guarantees anonymous surfing
  • “Connect On Demand“: no connection to the internet without VPN encryption
  • Ad-free
  • Free of charge up to a data volume of 500 MB per month
  • Displays other devices in the same WiFi network
  • Deployable worldwide
  • Power-saving even when in permanent use
  • Enables access to blocked videos (e. g. YouTube, BBC, Netflix, Hulu)
  • Steganos Online Shield VPN Premium includes one license for up to five devices (Windows, iOS, Android)

(Deutsch) Vorratsdatenspeicherung: Gefahr für IT-Security-Standort Deutschland

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