Home Cyber Attack NordVPN Discloses Server Breach That Could Have Potentially Allowed For Traffic Monitoring

NordVPN Discloses Server Breach That Could Have Potentially Allowed For Traffic Monitoring

by Abeerah Hashim
NordVPN flaw exposed users details

Extending the list of firms suffering a breach, now joins NordVPN. However, they didn’t suffer any ‘direct’ security breach, rather the incident occurred due to lax administration within a third party endpoint datacenter in Finland.

NordVPN Endured Server Breach

NordVPN have confirmed a data breach that indirectly involved the firm. The incident occurred with a datacenter in Finland.

As elaborated in a recent post, they found unauthorized access to a vulnerable server with one of their datacenter’s in March 2018.

The attacker gained access to the server by exploiting an insecure remote management system left by the datacenter provider while we were unaware that such a system existed.

the timeline of the events, the firm elaborated that the relevant datacenter noticed a flaw. Then, without notifying NordVPN, the data center deleted the remote management account in March 2018. NordVPN also learned of an expired private key. However, they assured that the key couldn’t have been used to decrypt the VPN traffic of other servers.

Since the affected server had no specific information, the overall data remained unaffected during the security breach.

The server itself did not contain any user activity logs; none of our applications send user-created credentials for authentication, so usernames and passwords couldn’t have been intercepted either.

What Did NordVPN Do Later?

Upon discovering the matter, NordVPN terminated the contract with the relevant datacenter.

Furthermore, despite discovering the incident earlier, they took some time for the disclosure to ensure the security of other servers.

They also elevated their security policies for all datacenters. Now, they only collaborate with the ones which meet their requirements.

Once we found out about the incident, we immediately launched a thorough internal audit to check our entire infrastructure… We have also raised the bar for all datacenters we work with. Now, before signing up with them, we make sure that they meet even higher standards.

In addition to all their security measures, NordVPN has announced they will implement a bug bounty program. Perhaps, this will help them further in strengthening their security.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

You may also like

Latest Hacking News

Privacy Preference Center


The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]


DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.



The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid