Free VPN Suffers Huge Data Breach, Compromising Users

Over 360 million SuperVPN user records have been leaked, making plain why choosing the right VPN is so important.

Popular free VPN service SuperVPN has allegedly suffered a major data breach, with over 360 million user records compromised.

In total, 133GB of sensitive information including user email addresses, original IP addresses, and geolocation information is said to have been exposed in the leak. Secret app keys, unique user identifier numbers, and visited website logs were also among the details leaked, according to reports.

The size and scope of the breach highlights how important it is to choose a reliable free VPN service from the hundreds now available, as many fail to provide their users with adequate security cover – despite privacy and security being why many people use a Virtual Private Network in the first place.

The Shady Side of SuperVPN

News of the SuperVPN data breach was first reported by security researcher Jerimiah Fowler on the vpnMentor website and underlines the importance of doing your research when selecting a secure VPN provider

While the contents of this data breach would seem to suggest otherwise, SuperVPN claims to offer robust privacy protection on its support pages, saying that it: ‘…keeps no logs which enable interference with your IP address, the moment [sic] or content of your data traffic. We make express reference to the fact that we do not record in logs communication contents or data regarding the accessed websites or the IP addresses”.

Protect Yourself Online

A good VPN like Surfshark can help keep your data secure

In fact, it’s the second recent data breach in which the widely used free VPN tool features. Back in May 2022, user details linked to a handful of shady providers were leaked to the tune of over 20 million users, while SuperVPN was also singled out as being a dangerously malware-ridden VPN app as long ago as 2016.

Dangers of China Based VPN Apps

Fowler says the incident is particularly alarming due to the fact that SuperVPN appears to be based out of China, a country which he notes ‘has strict regulations on internet usage and controls the flow of information within its borders.’

Rather than simply being alarmist or jumping on the anti-China bandwagon, Fowler is highlighting the obvious conflict of interest when an online privacy tool being run out of a country with little to no online privacy. Indeed, he notes that SuperVPN’s terms and conditions included an Orwellian ban on  “subverting state power, undermining national unity or undermining social stability and / or damaging the honor and interests of the State.”

He advises people shopping for a VPN to always “pay attention to where the company is based” as “certain countries are known for internet censorship (like China or Iran) or surveillance (like the US, the UK, and other members of the Fourteen Eyes alliance).”

Choosing a Reliable VPN Partner

Despite the SuperVPN data breach, it’s fundamentally safe to use a VPN – provided you choose the right one. This is easier said that done, though, especially when a large number of questionable services exist.

Fortunately, our tech experts and team of researchers have evaluated the VPN marketplace and can confidently say that is the best free VPN to try right now.

Alternatively, those looking for the safest service in light of the recent leak will find that we recommend NordVPN as the best for privacy – and it’s currently 63% off!

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Written by:
James Laird is a technology journalist with 10+ years experience working on some of the world's biggest websites. These include TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and The Sun, as well as industry-specific titles such as ITProPortal. His particular areas of interest and expertise are cyber security, VPNs and general hardware.
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