4 Vulnerabilities Of A Proxy ServerSeptember 21, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Jacob Davis
Users can either choose a paid or free proxy to connect to the Internet. A proxy works differently than a VPN. Unlike the latter, which provides a comprehensive security and privacy solution, a proxy only masks the IP address of a user’s device.
When you connect your device to a proxy, it directs the data to the intended server through a proxy server. As a result, the trackers of websites do not get to read the real IP address. Instead, they read the IP address assigned by the proxy server.
While you can bypass geo-restrictions to unblock websites using a proxy, it may not be above security vulnerabilities. Read on to know more about the security challenges you may face due to using a proxy server.
Proxy Server Vulnerabilities
You can use a proxy server on both your computer and mobile devices, just like a VPN. However, there are some clear lines of distinction between proxy servers and VPNs.
When you use a proxy server to visit a website, the data from your device passes through a third-party server to the intended server. In the process, the proxy server assigns a virtual IP address to the device.
The tracker(s) of a website gets the information about the virtual IP address instead of the real one. Usually, proxy servers use acceptable IP addresses, which allow users to unblock a website and visit it.
So, a proxy server protects the anonymity of a user’s device. But what about security? A VPN offers a better and more comprehensive solution in this regard.
Apart from security, a proxy server also has some other vulnerabilities. Here’s a list of the common vulnerabilities of a proxy server.
1. Virus Attacks And Spam
Using a proxy server exponentially increases the possibility of virus attacks and spam. As soon as you start using a proxy server, its provider initiates a session. Along with it, they also put banners and ads.
You might think that it makes sense as ads and banners constitute a solid source of revenue for proxy server providers. However, their overwhelming numbers can pose a challenge to the security of your device. They can put it at the risk of virus attacks and potentially unwanted software (PUP).
Sometimes proxy providers, especially the malicious ones, also intentionally stuff a session with such software options. Downloading it inadvertently can either slow down your device or lead to other technical issues.
2. Security Hack
A proxy server follows the same principle for all websites, including those blocked in certain regions. It channels the data from and to a device through a third-party server. Whether you make a transaction or simply browse a website, all the details pass through this server.
In terms of usage, it means that all your vital data remains at the mercy of the server’s security features. If the server is malicious, it can record all the data. This activity can compromise the security of user accounts.
Further, using a proxy server does not guarantee anonymity as it does not encrypt the data. As such, cybercriminals and hackers can intercept it with ease and steal sensitive information. Also, they can mount cyberattacks on your device if the network is compromised.
3. Broken Internet
Like you, several other users on the Internet also rely on proxy servers to visit their preferred websites. This means proxy servers carry a heavy load of traffic. They host data from thousands to millions of users’ devices. Also, they direct data to intended servers and send incoming data from them to users’ devices.
Maintaining the internet speed with such a huge load of traffic needs extensive bandwidth. Unfortunately, most proxy servers operate with low bandwidth. So, don’t be surprised if you experience a slow down in the internet speed while using a proxy server. Alongside free proxy servers, even the paid ones show up with this problem.
4. Identity Theft
Identity theft protection is not just a luxury but a necessity for users these days. No matter what you do on the Internet, you might not want to submit your details to a third party. When you use a proxy server, you do the same without even knowing about it.
The major concern with using a proxy server is recording your hostname and selling it to third parties. It maximizes the chances of identity theft and breach of privacy.
Both individuals and marketers ask certain pertinent questions before subscribing to a proxy package. Considering the above issues, it becomes crystal clear that they do so for a valid reason. If you plan to buy a proxy package, you should also take a leaf out of their book and carefully review your decision. This would be your best bet to make an informed decision.
DATA and ANALYTICS , SECURITY