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Hola VPN Turns 9 Milion users into Legitimate Botnet Network

 

Free VPN with over 9 Million exit nodes – total anonymity and free surfing of any blocked website. Sounds good? Think again.

Israeli based corporation Hola VPN used its sophisticated system to exploit its end users and apparently made the biggest legitimate botnet network on the internet. 

Hola VPN, a previously legitimate and actually quite good VPN service seems to have turned over to the dark side. They managed to build a peer-to-peer overlay service, effectively turning their userbase into a botnet network.

What this effectively means is that if you are a Hola user, your IP can become an exit node for anonymous (and malicious) traffic to pass through. And you will never even know about it. Hola became aware of the fact that they had gained the power to manipulate and use over 9 million IP addresses, where one address represents one device, and could use this network as they pleased.

Opt out? Nope. You can’t. It’s built in, and your IP, your exit node is being sold on to other users for quite a steep price through its Luminati.io service. The Luminati.io provides API access to its customers so they can utilize Hola VPN exit nodes for various activities, network stressing (DDoS attack) is one example.

From (Gigabyte) per Month To (Gigabyte) per month and the cost range

0-100 – $20.00

100-500 – $10.00

500-4,000 – $7.00

4,000-10,000 – $4.50

10,000-30,000 – $2.00

 

A user who buys these services can use any IP address as an exit node to pass through, and thusly completely covering their steps. If your IP happens to be the exit node and the user happens to be malicious – well that’s just your tough luck then, isn’t it?

Hola discretely shrugged off any accusations or any wrong-doing and changed their FAQ section to meet the new “demands”.

What makes this network so strong and so hard to detect or work against is that it cannot be filtered or blocked easily as it uses real people’s IP addresses from around the globe, and not a specific set coming from a large IP range.
In a recent post on his board, admin of 8chan Fredrick Brennan explained what happened, after reporting heavy DDoS from Hola VPN network.

From (Gigabyte) per Month To (Gigabyte) per month. And the Cost range

0-100 – $20.00

100-500 – $10.00

500-4,000 – $7.00

4,000-10,000 – $4.50

10,000-30,000 – $2.00

The Luminati.io provides API access to its customers so they can utilize Hola VPN exit nodes for various activities, network stressing (DDoS attack) is one example. This makes Hola very effective and strong botnet on the market, especially because it cannot be filtered or blocked easily as it uses real people’s IP addresses from around the globe, and not specific set comming from a large IP range.

In a recent post on his board, admin of 8chan Fredrick Brennan explained what happened, after reporting heavy DDoS from Hola VPN network.

Their shady and very unethical business started to draw more and more attention and showed how easy it is to trick people with a “free” service especially with their rather exaggerated referral program that offers $1000 for every customer you bring with your referral link. Hacktimes.com highly recommend to uninstall any of the Hola VPN software from any device.

 

Sources:

https://8ch.net/hola.html

https://8ch.net/holapricing.html

http://www.vpnranks.com/hola-unblocker-security-and-alternatives/

 

About nona (27 Articles)
Founder of The Hack Times, information gathering and cyber security specialist , always one step ahead. Open for communication.
  • Kevin Robinson

    Disclaimer: I work for a SmartDNS/VPN company called UnoTelly.

    As someone that uses the Internet, I value companies that keep my information secure. As an employee of a DNS and VPN service, I am proud to say that UnoTelly charges a nominal fee (~$5/month) so our customers can access quality and secure service. We value our users and would never sell their data.

    • Well that’s nice to hear from some one i could call a colleague. Didn’t hear about UnoTelly but i will give it a check, maybe add it as an alternative to hola vpn 😉